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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:25 pm:   

   By Dave G. on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:05 am:

Did not watch COOKERS or SOFT FOR DIGGING this week. My brain was mush from Thanksgiving, so I saved them for when I could enjoy them properly.

Instead, I watched James Merendino's EVIL REMAINS and Ian Softley's THE SKELETON KEY. I would not call ER a good or particularly successful film. What it appeared to be were some structured semi-improvisational scenes with some very good young actors, surrounded by a very slapdash opening and closing scene designed to give it the appearance of narrative closure. The middle actually managed some nice suspense, eerie atmosphere and involving psychodrama, but the tossed-off narrative devices that started and closed the thing subverted the project. Still, any movie with Estella Warren and Ashley Scott gets 1 1/2 stars out of the box from me! Not a bad renter...

Lucius, am I right in thinking that you hated SKELETON KEY? I did not think it was all that bad. A trifle hackneyed, with an ending that was a bit NIGHT GALLERY/DC Comics for some tastes, but not the worst I've seen. I think I would recommend it as a rental, and I'm no Kate Hudson fan.

Also screened Seagal's INTO THE SUN, a movie that seemed to have a bigger budget, better production values and superior supporting performances (Eddie George?!) than the typical Seagal actioner, but was still a bit weak in the script dept.
   By Robert on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:10 am:

I'm willing to watch the HP movies, but I won't read the books. The most recent movie was OK for escapist entertainment.

Besides HP, I watched Mirrormask. It was visually great, Dave McKean's artwork turned into film. The story was lacking. Some big plot holes and flaws in logic. It disappoints me when filmmakers spend so much time making something look great but don't spend as much time making the script great.
   By Lucius on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:29 am:

I won't read 'em, either. But the movies....dung beetles.

Movies about the south directed by Brit hacks tend to piss me off. While SK was better than Cold Mountain, that still puts it about fifty degrees south of acceptable.
   By Dave G. on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 08:25 am:

I see. So, it was the "Oh, fiddlesticks!" approach to Southern idiosyncracy that irked you, eh?
   By MarcL on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 11:57 am:

Or was it the cordial invitation to take juleps on the verandah?
   By Dave G. on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 01:05 pm:

You mean the south isn't full of rural backwater filling stations where crazy-looking octagenarians perform secret rituals in back? Well, cancel THAT road trip...
   By MarcL on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 01:12 pm:

The truly scary filling stations are in Arizona. So are the truly scary steakhouses with singing waiters.
   By Dave G. on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 03:26 pm:

And the truly scary redneck open-mike bars where they sing along with Sasha Baron Cohen about throwing jews down wells...
   By Lucius on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:19 pm:

Between the general inauthenticty of the film and the inadequacy of the lead actress and the obviousness of the twist, I found little to celebrate.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:56 pm:   

Watched a terrific russian film yesterday, called Lilya Forever, based on what happened to many russian kids after the collapse of the soviet union, with many kids left to fend for themselves, resorting to crime and prostitution to survive, when there parents emigrate to america.

Powerful, bleak with an amazing performance by the lead (I've forgotten her name, it's russian, it's difficult to remember :-) ).

I highly reccomend this if you can find it.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 08:25 pm:   

It's interesting how many good Russian films centrally involve children. The Return, this one, Koctebel....

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JTS
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 09:06 pm:   

I haven't heard about Koctebal, is it any good.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 09:16 pm:   

Sorry, I meant Koctebel.

excuse the bad grammar over the last few posts. I have only had about 2 hours of sleep and I'm knee deep in work.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 10:13 pm:   

Yeah, it's very good.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 05:47 am:   

JTS, does this sound like the film....? If so, it's Danish not Russian. Directed by Lucas Moodyson.


Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in Russia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej. He is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life. (more)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 05:31 pm:   

Saw a remarkable movie today -- All About Lily Chou-Chou. It's about a junior high student in Japan
obsessed with a popstar named Lily Chou-Chou, sort of cross between Enya and Tori Amos who sings about a Force-like energy called the Ether. He runs a website devoted to her and uses her to insulate himself against the perils of junior high, which include vicious bullying, the pimping of a 13 year old to businessmen, suicide, murder....this is an oft-told story, but Shunji Iwai makes it new. Lily Chou Chou is a masterpiece of ellipitical storytelling. It's beautifully filmed, the most beautiful movie ever shot on video, propelled by chat room dialog, music videos, all manner of narrative device...This is the third film I've seen that deals with Japanese high school, and I gotta say, makes me glad to be an American. You gotta see this one.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 05:36 pm:   

If it makes ya glad to be an American, then we gotta see this..:-)
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JTS
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 11:06 pm:   

Yeah lucius, that's the one, I thought it was Russian due to the fact that when they advertised the film here (it was shown on television) it was referred to as a Russian Film, plus they also said the film was called Lilja Forever when it was actually called Lilja 4-ever, apologies for any confusian this may have caused.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 11:25 pm:   

Nah, I just thought I'd point out the fack. Moodyson also did a pretty good movie called Fucking Amal....
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 06:30 am:   

Had a chance to watch COOKERS last night. Nifty little project, definitely. I found the performances to be very gritty and believable. Never spent much time around meth-heads, and if that's how they act I don't want to, but the guy who played Hector really conveyed a hellish kind of mental derangement. I also liked the camera angles, the lighting, etc. There was a lot of real craft to that movie (like the final shot down the well). You could tell those guys knew what they were doing, which is a welcome relief in the world of no-budget horror. Very effective, when it could easily have fallen prey to gimmicks.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 06:45 am:   

Watched The Hypnotist last night. It's a Japanese thriller about a police detective and a psychotherapist who hunt a hypnotist who convinces people to commit suicide. It's alright, but it has a "twist" ending that was obvious before the film was half over.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 07:04 am:   

Glad you liked Cookers, Dave. You're right, it was a really smart movie. And very entertaining. Hector was great.

Robert, thanks. You saved me from buying the hypnotist...
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 11:05 am:   

The latest in the altered movie trailers, this time for Big
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/wmv/bigtrailer.wmv

I still think the Shining one is the most entertaining.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 01:38 pm:   

Movie of the Day


Gory Gory Hallelujah (NTSC Region 1)

Four actors compete for the role of Jesus - a black revolutionary (Jeff Gilbert), a bisexual hippie (Tim Gouran), a Jew (Todd Licea), and a woman (Angie Louise). When all four are rejected, they hit the road on bad-ass motorcycles, bound for glory in New York City. But when a run-in with a gang of Elvises ends in murder, they find themselves stranded in a little town called Jackville - where folk don't take kindly to blasphemers. Taken prisoner, the Jesuses fall prey to an evil conspiracy that can only lead to the Apocalypse. As the oppressed turn against each other and the undead rise, who will emerge as the true Jesus? Can zombies bring redemption, or just eat flesh?
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 02:22 am:   

that novie sounds awesome! I met this girl from central Amaerica amd I think she's hot. But she's way more positive about central America. What5 do I do? I'm supposed to call her (I may not). You guys may be pissed at me anyway....
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 05:58 am:   

"But she's way more positive about central America...."

Her family has money.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 06:01 am:   

"What do I do....?"

I'll send an instruction manual.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 11:56 am:   

:-)

Her family has money.

Could be. She has a car, moved to Canada recently, lives with her mom -- 29 with a degree. Dunno, forsure. She's from one of the islands around there. Said she lived in Hondurus for three months...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 12:02 pm:   

That wasn't meant as a joke. The only people who think CA is doing good are the priviledged.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 12:10 pm:   

I thought you meant something else...

She didn't say that she thinks CA's doing good exactly, just that the people there have a good attitude and appreciate life so much, despite their poverty. She said the rich are really rich and the poor really poor, over there. Based on what I know, I think you're probably right.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 12:26 pm:   

" just that the people there have a good attitude and appreciate life so much, despite their poverty"

Classic richspeak. Right out of the book.

I did mean something else with the joke.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 12:32 pm:   

Yeah, I've heard people say stuff like that before.

So it was a joke..:-)
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 12:36 pm:   

When I questioned her on what she was saying, she gave me the whole I've been there and you haven't. Which is a fair point, but I don't think she was totally convinced herself...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   

Anytime you hear the poor people apppreciate life so much etc it should set off your detectors...

Yeah, the poor appreciate life so much in a virtual dictatorship with an average per capita income of less than $300 a year, no medical care, a horrrendous infant mortality rate, and a hovel on a hillside that occasionally slides into a river and can't withstand a high wind....Right!

I'd say refer her to me, because I've been there but then you wouldn't get laid...
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PM
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   

I'll try to keep this below 5000 words...

The US has left such a black mark over the years that CA has remained/moved (continued to move) away from a democracy which settles issues peacefully rather than through force.

The irony of course would be that it would likely require a violent overthrow of the government to bring about a democratic change. But it also requires a population ready for democracy.

Instead of coup after coup...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 04:52 pm:   

I suppose this is an inopportune time for me to air my cogitations on Katherine Bigelow's classic thriller POINT BREAK...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 04:57 pm:   

Go for it...though classic thriller hardly says it for me. More like, classic piece of camp shit.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 05:34 pm:   

Hey, to-may-toe, to-mah-toe...

When I was watching this film, I was thinking to myself: I would have given anything to have been a fly on the wall at this pitch meeting. This must have been the greatest pitch in Hollywood history. Just try summarizing this plot in two minutes or less. Go ahead. Try. It comes out 100% insane!

I have said it before and I'll say it again...bad movies were better in late 1980s. There was something so unfettered about them. It's like people didn't even bother to pretend they were making quality films. They just rolled and wallowed in pure Cheez Whiz. There is something liberating about watching people not at all restrained by notions of plausibility. It the great late 80s cheezfests, you just sit there and go "oh, no they di'nt" over and over again until you realize "yes, they did!" And they kept on doing it!

I'm sorry. When Bohdi paddled off to meet his maker in the trough of his Last Great Wave and Johnny Utah flung his FBI badge into the roiling sea, I felt proud to be an American. I was so beyond laughter.

Patrick Swayze needs a Thalberg award right now. Tell me who I have to kill to get him one.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 05:49 pm:   

George Bush.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 03, 2005 - 07:27 am:   

Saw a couple of movies last night. One, a German movie, HOTEL, is a horror film about a young woman who takes a job as a receptionist in a Black Forest hotel and begins to believe that the staff is somehow plotting against her. It's all very allusive, perhaps too much so, but the ending has stayed with me and the atmospherics ae excellent. I think its main effectiveness lies in the fact that it seems plausible, that it reflects the way evil might work. Recommended for its post-viewing, lingering creepiness.

The second movie is an absolutely brilliant Italian thriller, the Consequences of Love, directed by new director Paolo Sorrentino. The movie seeks to penetrate the dark secret kept by Titta Di Girolamo (Toni Servilo), an elegantly dressed man of late middle age who has lived for eight years in an anoymous Swiss hotel. He spends his days in the hotel bar, observing his fellow guests with icy detachment. His only appears to be delivering a bag of money, which appears in his room at regular intervals. But his detachment cracks when he starts talking to the attractive barmaid (Olivia Magnani) and the truth about Titta's secret begins to unravel. Much of this movie is composed of very short scenes that, in other hands, might make for a jumpy feel, agitated pacing, but in Sorrentino's hands flow seamlessly together, like the marble floors of Titta's hotel. This is an outstanding movie, a thriller that outstrips its genre, featuring wonderfully understated performances by Magnani and Servilo.
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 02:20 am:   

Actually Lucius, I think I did mention you. If not directly, I mentioned that I knew a guy who writes, who's traveled around there a lot. But I was pretty loaded. She gave me a ride home from the bar (she doesn't drink or do drugs), and she still gave me her number. I guess I should call her tomorrow or sometime soon. She's at least intriguing enough to see a few times.

There's another movie to try and track down sometime...
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 04:48 am:   

But then, now, I'm in a negative mood and I can't sleep. So I'm thinking that maybe I did blow it and she gave me a fake number. I don't want to sound like an asshole, even though sometimes I can be that way (which only makes me feel worse) because I'm also really a nice guy. In fairness, I'm just too fucked up right now to have any good relationship. But I recall that we weren't talking about having a serious relationship, so I'm just being crazy. The girl who I think could help and understand, is out there somewhere, probably fucked up too. I'm sorry that I've gotten into this, but most people I know I don't think would listen to this, and have any understanding.

Anyways, back to movies...
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Stephen
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 04:50 am:   

Shit, I decided I didn't want to post that...
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 06:12 am:   

Ok, I'm actually not in that bad of a mood, I'm just in a bit of pain and I can't slow my mind down enough to sleep. So, feel free to erase the last couple posts because they're not pertinent to the thread. I feel myself relaxing. G'night.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 07:05 am:   

There's no denying suffering.

I think that if I were to namedrop Shepard that kittens and Spielbergians would scramble for safety :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 08:33 am:   

No, I'm not gonnna erase. It's a record that will remain for all time. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 09:27 am:   

For the Lovecraft lover in you...
Lovecraft Collection - Cool Air (NTSC All Region)

Randolph Carter moves into a squalid boarding house in the summer of 1925 where he becomes friends with a mysterious doctor who revives him after a near-fatal heart attack. Soon after Carter discovers the awful truth about the doctor, and the fragile line that separates life and death. Featuring a stellar performance by Jack Donner as Dr. Mu? Cool Air remains a haunting reminder of the power of the human will.

Disc also includes the following extras Nyarlathotep, The Hound, An Imperfect Solution (based on theoriginal Re-animator series), The Hapless Antiquarian, and interviews with the cast & crew of Cool Air, bonus shorts, and an interview with scholar S.T. Joshi.


Lovecraft Collection 2 - Rough Magik (NTSC All Region)
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Lovecraft Collection 2 - Rough Magik (NTSC All Region)

Plugging nicely into the world of Delta Green, Rough Magik is about The Night Scholars, a clandestine organization setup to monitor the ancient cult of Cthulhu. After decades of compiling an enormous database of arcane information, they have come to a single, incontrovertible conclusion: the Sleeping God is waking.
Diana Armitage, with the help of her Home Office liaison, the mysterious Mr. Moon (Paul Darrow), launch an aggressive campaign against the Dreamers. This operation, designated the Rough Magik initiative, was successful but they trod on the toes of some powerful people, amidst accusations of financial impropriety and possible treason, and the Night Scholars were disbanded. Now years later, the old magic is returning, the Sleeping God is rising, and there are more Dreamers than Mr. Moon can handle as he struggles to rebuild the Night Scholars before its too late.

* NTSC All Region
* Rough Magik feature film including a commentary audio track by writer/producer Stephen W. Parsons
* Exclusive Rough Magik slide show of behind the scenes images
* Bob Fugger's short film Terrible Old Man
* Bob Fugger's short film From Beyond
* The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets music videos Colour Me Green & Worship Me Like A God.
* Interviews with the crew of Terrible Old Man
* Interview with the foremost Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi.

Lovecraft Collection 3 - Out of Mind (NTSC All Region)
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Lovecraft Collection 3 - Out of Mind (NTSC All Region)

The third volume in the H.P. Lovecraft Collection contains some of our favorite Lovecraft inspired films. The sublime Out of Mind seamlessly melds a stealth Lovecraft documentary using dialog based on his numerous personal corespondence, and story fragments from his mythos woven into a single fascinating tapestry.

The film also introduces us to Lovecraft the person (through the brilliant characterization by Christopher Heyerdahl). There are lots of in-jokes and references to all things Lovecraftian for the astute fan. Even some iridescent protoplasma shows up but the filmmakers wisely keep their on-screen time very short, hinting at them rather then attempting to gross anyone out.

The plot revolves around a modern day artist, Charles Dexter Ward, who inherits a copy of the Necronomicon that casues a series of nightmare excursions into his familial past and to the dream world meeting with Lovecraft himself.

The volume also includes John Strysik's The Music of Erich Zann (now with the new 5.1 dolby surround sound mix) and Aaron Vanek's The Outsider & My Necronomicon.
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 05:51 pm:   

Oh great, now I can look back on this and go, what the fuck was I thinking?:-)

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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 06:22 pm:   

Something like that....
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Robert
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 07:07 am:   

I've got the 3rd Lovecraft collection and I like it. I haven't gotten the first 2 yet, but I will.

This weekend I didn't see anything good. I watched some old Sinbad movies by Ray Harryhausen. They're entertaining, but I don't see a huge difference between them and today's effects driven pieces. They take a reasonably known actor, pair him with a scantily clad actress who is popular at the time. Acting ability in either isn't really required. They base the plot around special effects sequences instead of letting the plot dictate the effects. I don't see this as very different from most movies now, except I'd rather watch stop motion animation instead of bad computer animation.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 08:22 am:   

Lucius, you were sure right about Seagal's SUBMERGED, a real "gem"... Pretty wacky stuff. But it had Vinnie Jones, the former soccer "hard man" and action film star who is really a pretty charismatic presence. When he beat up that sniper, man, I have rarely seen such pure violence on screen.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 08:27 am:   

Yeah, those Lovecraft deals look good. I'm gonna get #2 first--love that English stuff.
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PM
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 11:39 am:   

Watched I Heart Huckabees which is a thought provoking film drowning in silliness. Has a few "classic" scenes including a rather dirty sexual encounter. But one has to expend quite a bit of time for those few outstanding moments...

Sinbad, those were the days...Perhaps it's just nostalgia but the acting seemed to tower over today's latest Star Wars escapades.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 12:58 pm:   

I see MAREBITO is opening in NYC. Maybe it will play DC and maybe it will stay longer than the one week the re-released PULSE played.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 01:06 pm:   

Marebito's pretty cool -- I watched it again and liked it.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 07:14 pm:   

Watched The Return again, quite possibly the best film I've watched so far this year, though the pace of the film which seemed fine to me on the first viewing, seemed rather slow on this viewing, though this may have been due to the fact that I'd just watched a number of faster paced action films, rather than any fault of the film itself.

It's nice to see a film though that doesn't answer all the questions, where things are left open to speculation, it's a nice change of pace, from, in particular hollywood films which seem focused on always telling the audience exactly what's going on, even if they don't really seem to know what's going on themselves.

Looking forward to Thursday, when I should be getting a whole bunch films in, including: Men With Guns, Read My Lips (a good hitchcockian French thriller) East/West, Where The Sidewalk Ends, Palace Vendom and The Silence Of Neto.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 07:19 pm:   

Let us know if Read my Lips is good.

As for the Return, you might not have waited long enough between viewings, but yeah, it's certainly got to be among the best recent films I've seen.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 08:04 pm:   

You're probably right about The Return, I guess It's because of the fact that there were a few lingering questions, that I wanted to watch it again and see if i missed something.

Just out of curiosity Lucius, where are some of the places you buy your DVDs from, I use DVD Empire, but I've found recently that they don't stock quite a number of the films you have recommended, as well as a few that I'm looking for.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 08:56 pm:   

Diabolik and Xploited Films, mostly. KoreaDVD, YesAsia...Always check Amazon for a used or cheap new copy.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 09:43 pm:   

Thanks Lucius.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 01:01 am:   

Ordered Leolo...
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 08:25 am:   

THE RETURN is one I would be wary of watching again too quickly. I loved KIKUJIRO on first viewing; loved it so much that I watched it again a few days later and was simply hit over the head by its odd, slow pacing.

I don't think I could watch KNIFE IN THE WATER twice in a row either.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 09:09 am:   

I didn't see your post on Submerged, Dave. Yeah....gemmish.

You're in for a treat, Stephen.

Rule of thumb, unless it's a picture about which I need clarify something, or it's an FX picture, I wait at least 8 or 9 months before watching it again...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

Anyone have opinions on Noe's I STAND ALONE?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 11:36 am:   

Nope. I toyed with the idea of buying it, but passed.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 07:27 pm:   

And in other Seagal news:

CIA Agent, Jonathan Cold (Steven Seagal) is working as an undercover agent to undermine arms dealers, who want to sell a nuclear bomb to an eastern European terrorist group. His cover gets detected when the weapon’s dealers’ catch his former student, beautiful Amanda Hayles. Cold has no choice but to save his student and stop the sale of the nuclear bomb in time.
The release will feature an anamorphic widescreen transfer of the movie complete with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio. An Interview with Steven Seagal will be included on the release, as well as a Making Of Featurette.
“Black Dawn” hits DVD on December 27 and will carry a suggested retail price of $24.96.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 09:58 pm:   

I can hear Dave singing... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 06:47 am:   

I'm there, although I have yet to find TICKER, THE PATRIOT and THE FOREIGNER, the first Jonathan Cold release. I have to admit; I am impressed that a screenwriter would call a character "Jonathan Cold." I think that's worth $25 right there. A friend of mine tells me that THE PATRIOT is A++ for real Seagal wackiness.

I had a dream last night I was watching Jeopardy and Seagal's OUT OF REACH was a category. Weird, huh?

Any news on his planned Delta blues CD?

Lucius, I am still awaiting your views on Vinnie Jones as action star. Have you any?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 07:05 am:   

Sadly weird. :-)

Yeah, I don't really know who Vinnie Jones is, but I remember, I think, the scene you're referring to... I don't really think they're looking for action stars anynore; the time of that kind of action picture as a massive hit appears to be passing.

Ticker (which has Ted Sizemore and Peter Greene as good guys), The Patriot, and Foreigner are all over cable. Check USA and Spike.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:12 am:   

I think many people in Hollywood think "Why get an action star if we can just get any star and use computers to create the action?" It seems to work for so many movies now.

I wonder if I'm an old fogey for wanting to see real action without cgi (or with minimal cgi, like using it to remove wires).
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:20 am:   

I always thought that it was about the HERO not the ACTION. Isn't it important to have a charismatic hero DOING the ass-kicking?

My heart sank when I read an article about ROAD HOUSE 2: LAST CALL and the first time screenwriter was bragging about the number of action scenes. Dude, ROAD HOUSE was not about the number of fights. It was about SWAYZE!

It's time to bring back the witty one-liner and the sneering delivery!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:25 am:   

This is the video game era; everyone's their own hero.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:40 am:   

Have any of these video game movies actually made money?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:56 am:   

I don't mean that; I mean that people are getting accustomed to generic video game heroes and no longer care about the Arnolds et al. Witness the Transporter, which features a guy who could be a video hero. Anonymous. Tony Jaa is the only hope for trad action guys, and he does it without cinemagic. And what Robert said about getting any actor and turning him to an action here, that applies as well.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 08:57 am:   

The Numbers has a page about this

http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/series/BasedOnComputerGame.php

On average, they bomb, but a few make money:
House of the Dead, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 09:51 am:   

It's a sad day, a sad day.

On a different subject, I watched SOFT FOR DIGGING last night. An interesting little film, with the homemade, feeling-our-way feel of CARNIVAL OF SOULS, the sylvan creepiness of BLAIR WITCH, a spooky orphanage and a totally nuts, off-the-wall ending that picks you up and drops you like a ton of bricks. I thought the silent-movie aspect was kind of cool, but J.T. Petty was a bit slapdash about his story. The shady priest I hated. I guess that this was an NYU student film?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:01 am:   

Yep. Made for six K. I think I may have liked it a little better than you did, but...Hey. The priest was shaky, but you had to have somebody do the business.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:03 am:   

Anybody seen this:
THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND OF CAPTAIN NEMO (COVER B) EXTENDED VERSION [LIMITED EDITION] (1973)
(LA ISLA MISTERIOSA Y EL CAPITAN NEMO / DIE GEHEIMNISVOLLE INSEL)
Director - Juan Antonio Bardem
Genre - Action
Label - CCI


Omar Sharif plays Captain Nemo in this rare version of Jules Verne's novel "The Mysterious Island". Virtually ignored by critics THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND OF CAPTAIN NEMO is a superb adaptation of the original novel.
In 1865, during the American Civil War, five people and a dog flee in a balloon from the Confederate stronghold Richmond. A brilliant engineer, the natural leader of the party Cyrus Smith his faithful servant, the liberated Nab, "New York Herald" reporter Gideon Spilett, the brave sailor Bonaventure Pencroff and his adopted son Harbert Brown and Top, the role model for every dog out there.
Eventually the fugitives are cast ashore on a seemingly deserted island. They must overcome various obstacles, first merely to survive, later to live in relatively comfort, but thanks to the ever resourceful Cyrus Smith they manage. But there's a forbidden zone on the island, a place they dare not enter due to mysterious rays of electricity being fired at them from afar. A message found in a bottle leads them to the marooned Ayrton on Tabor island, who joins them. There they are befriended by the chimp Jupiter and besieged by pirates under the cruel Bob Harvey. Last but not at least there's a rumbling volcano that might blow up the entire island any minute…
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:33 am:   

No discussion of videogame adaptations is complete without an interview with Dr. Uwe Boll:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/12/05/entertainment/e112939S68 .DTL&hw=boll&sn=001&sc=1000

Unfortunately, the hilarious trailer for this film has been yanked from the studio's website. But believe me, it defies belief.

I think you can still download it from here:

http://www.fileshack.com/file.x?fid=8044
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:34 am:   

That Sharif Nemo sounds remarkable.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:47 am:   

I wonder if this director is any relation to Javier Bardem.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:51 am:   

Yeah, I"m tempted.

Pretty funny interview. I can't download video.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 11:07 am:   

If I find another link to the trailer I'll post it. It was taken off the studio's website for some reason, but it was a treacly download at the best of times.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

Marc, that article is funny. I have to wonder, does John Rhys Davies ever turn down a role? He's become a staple of unwatchable movies on sci-fi channel. At least he realizes the difference between bad movies and good movies, he just doesn't care which he is in.

The trailer...it's really obvious it wants to be Lord of the Rings, but equally obvious that most direct to video releases look more entertaining.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 11:30 am:   

Boll has specialized, according to him, in casting his movies at the last minute in order to pick up actors who are between jobs.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 11:58 am:   

"Besides Statham, the cast includes Leelee Sobieski, Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies, Burt Reynolds, Ron Perlman, Kristanna Loken, Matthew Lillard and Will Sanderson."

Shaggy, Smokey, Gimli, a Goodfella, the Terminator and the Transporter. And Joan of Arc, for good measure. Wow.

See, Lucius? Jason Statham is so making a play for action-hero stardom. Who says he is being swallowed up by the video-game movie? Doh!!!!

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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 01:22 pm:   

I split for that Captain Nemo thing -- I'll let you know how it was when I have time to watch it.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 06:48 pm:   

Lucius says: I can hear Dave singing...:-)

Which begs the question which sounds better the singing or Lucius cussin'! :-)

Watched the Bourne Supremacy. I'm no Damon fan but it was better than the Transporter.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 10:48 pm:   

Everyone raves about those Bourne movies. I'm almost tempted.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 06:49 am:   

Everyone knows, Marc, you have a special Damon collection you keep in the locked room off your basement...
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 07:01 am:   

The Bourne movies are entertaining, and unlike most Hollywood stuff, I don't feel my intelligence was insulted by the plot. But they do fit into Lucius's video game theory. The movies aren't like a video game, but Damon is an anonymous action hero.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 07:14 am:   

I liked the first one okay, but when Frankie Potenta died in the second, I lost interest. That said, I'll probably catch no. 3.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 07:19 am:   

By the way, I saw a preview for Wolf Creek -- you gotta love this country, opening a slasher flick on Dec. 25. Looks pretty f**king freaky.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 07:45 am:   

I saw bits of one of the Bourne movies on TV. I have to say, I wasn't bored. I kept watching. If you can get past the idea of Matt Damon As Action Hero, you will enjoy them.

Apparently, the US release date of THE DESCENT has been pushed back until Spring. :-(
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 07:47 am:   

Lucius, I did kind of enjoy SOFT FOR DIGGING...didn't mean to convey the impression I didn't. I just got the feeling that the director was so enamored of atmosphere in the early scenes that he kind of jammed a story in as an afterthought. Typical rookie mistake, I would imagine. Just out of curiosity, what did you find so compelling about it?
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 09:49 am:   

They missed a good opportunity with the titles for the Bourne movies. Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum? How about:
Bourne Again, Bourne in the USA, Bourne to be Wild, Bourne on the 4th of July, Bourne Under a Bad Sign. They could continue with that indefinitely.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 09:52 am:   

T he character study of the old man, the ending, the overall allusiveness of what was happening...

That's a drag about the Descent.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 10:49 am:   

The ending was pretty bizarre...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 10:52 am:   

One thought re: SFD ending: it's too bad that Petty blunted the impact with his title card. Those struck me as a little bit affected, a little too DOGVILLE for the subject matter.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 11:07 am:   

I think they helped, but to each his own.

Going to see Kong tonight -- will report.
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

Going to write a review for Kong?

I'm so torn on it. I expect it to be terrible, but I still want to see it. I don't even know why I want to see it. I guess the marketing is just working.

At least my desire to see Narnia has died.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 11:40 am:   

Yesterday I talked to a guy who worked on Kong. I asked him how he thought it turned out. His answer: "Long."

I'm looking forward to it anyway. Jackson still knows how to have fun.

Tilda Swinton looks like a fine Jadis/White Witch, and that's pretty much all that matters. Lewis's kids are bores. I read Lewis for those moments of visionary flight that are like watercolor hallucinations. It's worth chewing through the rest of the matrix to get to those. Even the Perelandra books are redeemed by his ability to create and sustain dreamscapes. None of that is likely to survive translation to the screen in the hands of the Shrek guy.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 12:22 pm:   

If Kong plays at the Uptown Cinema here (huge screen, gigantic speakers, Dolby sound), I might go see it. That sounds like a film that begs for the bigtime theatrical experience.
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 01:04 pm:   

Nightwatch finally has a US release date: Feb 17
(according to Fangoria)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 01:22 pm:   

Yeah, I'm gonna review it. Narnia, you couldn't drag me to it. You could pay me, but you couldn't drag me. Tilda Swinton's always good, but I rather see her in No No Nanette.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 03:19 pm:   

WOLF CREEK'S gotten a good rep down here. one of those things that just sneaks up outta nowhere, i think. haven't seen it myself, since it's not my thing, but there you go.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 03:32 pm:   

It looks vicious as hell. Drills and such are employed. Nasty bad guy. I'll check it out.
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JTS
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 11:00 pm:   

Yeah, the bad guy is pretty much the only reason to watch wolf creek, imagine crocodile dundee or Steve Irwin as a serial killer.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 11:25 pm:   

Whoever that guy was who said KK was too long was being restrained. It's twice as long as the original and it needs to be at least an hour shorter. The first hour, nothing much happens. I kept thinking, when's the damn monkey gonna show up? The second hour, Skull Island, is pretty great. Great FX. The third hour, despite more great FX, is so sappy, I couldn't stand it. Note to Peter Jackson: this is a fairy tale, not an epic. He's so in love with his monkey, he wants us to love it too. He puts Andy Serkis (Gollum) in motion capture for many of Kong's scenes, and while it worked in LOTR, it doesn't work here, IMO. I found the original model more affecting. At times, the movie's an incredible spectacle, but there's too much of Kong as a giant with the soul of poet, wanting only to dance with his tiny blond back in the purity of the jungle. Too much tearjerking bullshit. Too much period. I'm gonna save the rest for a long review, but the Skull Island stuff is good enough to recommend it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 08:36 am:   

In the words of Dino deLaurentis, "Ev-a-ry-body love-a da monkey!" In all the hoo-ha over Jackson's KK, the only people who haven't taken advantage are the owners of the Jessica Lange/DeLaurentis remake. You would think they would have packaged up their version and given it a big re-issue or something.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 08:52 am:   

Jessica as Dwan -- better they hide that monkey away...
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 09:27 am:   

Actually, I believe the 70s version is indeed coming out on video.

Sight unseen, I can't comment on the quality of the Peter Jackson film, but I am a little bemused by universal, bitter complaints to the effect that Kong doesn't make his appearance for the first forty-five minutes -- only because that happens to be true of the original as well. Forty-five minutes, half the film. Jackson's pacing seems to retain that, and expand the second and third acts.

As for the '70s version, despite its many flaws, I will confess that it did have two sequences that were actually improvements on the original. The first: first, poor Kong languishing in the tanker's hold as he's dragged back to civilization, and second (though your mileage may vary), I actually liked the scene where the big monkey blow-dries Jessica after her swim.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 10:36 am:   

You seem to be implying he first film is iconic, perfect. It's not. This should have been a two hour movie -- better yet, Jackson should never have remade a movie he so revered. It's like rewriting a novel you wrote when you were nineteen.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 10:59 am:   

Well, as a kid, everything up to Skull Island was lost on me, and as soon as they left behind the possibility of battles with dinosaurs, it was boring until the rampage. I enjoy the passive stuff more now, partly because I appreciate the effects of weathering, but I suppose my kids will be as bored by it as I used to be.

It is odd that Jackson's way of showing affection for KK is to remake it.

Anyway, Lucius, are you going to get an advance look at THE NEW WORLD?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

The Malick? Probably not. I get invited to some critics screening for genre pics, and see other non-critics screenings, and I have a friend who gets me the occasional screener, but I can't count on the non-genre stuff....so, Maybe. He knows I want it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:56 am:   

If KK isn't a massive hit, the letdown is going to be huge. I read one article predicting it could be the biggest-grossing film of all time. I'll bet that the equivalent of Venezuela's GNP has been spent on marketing this thing already.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   

Oh, it's gonna be a hit! Dino was right basically. I don't particularly care. I'd like to see a naturalist Kong with the Blond coughing and gagging at the stench of the beast, and Kong masturbating atop the Empire State, bombing Manhattan with boulder-sized chunks of feces. Now that would be a hit... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 12:20 pm:   

Yeah, you would think he would be pretty rank. I mean, it's not like he's going to sit still for a bath or anything...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 12:28 pm:   

Yeah, he likely smells bad enough to gross out a goat. Though I suppose in Jackson's take, he showers in the pristine jungle waterfall and dries himself with frangipangi blossoms. Oh, yeah...and he doses his breath with infusions of citrus, thereby not gassing the blond when he blowdries her.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 01:44 pm:   

Don't forget, this is 1930's hygiene we're talking about here. The smell of rotten pomade is probably sickening to an ape.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 01:56 pm:   

This is true. Maybe Fay Wray's perfume was gassing Kong so it was actually beauty killed the beast.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 04:51 pm:   

They should make an up-to-date realistic Kong. The ship is attacked by crusty animal rights activists, the promoter gets animal blood thrown on him by PETA, the show goes bankrupt due to high insurance costs and then all the ticket-buyers stay home to wait for the new PlayStation console to come out. Kong ends up doing his act in a roadside petting zoo in Smyrna, Georgia and Naomi Watts gets a gig hosting a revived "Those Amazing Animals" for union scale on basic cable.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 04:54 pm:   

I think that specific fate is truly in store for Naomi Watts, regardless of the updated Kong. In fact, her appearance in KK has probably sealed it.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 04:58 pm:   

That would be good. But what would Kong's act be? Rising from the dead? BTW, Dave, this is very un-PC Kong, so be prepared for the oogga-booga people of Skull Island.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 05:21 pm:   

I have a pretty high ooga-booga threshold, so I should be OK. But after they tried to get Curious George thrown out of schools as racist, how is the PC brigade going to react to this Kong?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 05:38 pm:   

Not well, I shouldn't think. But then all may be washed away in the blood of the ape.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 09:17 pm:   

We've got Narnia for the ID people this week, and Kong for the Evolutionists next week. Then Christmas!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 09:49 pm:   

Yeah, well...and Wolf Creek for those who're into...

...SATAN!
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 02:26 pm:   

Have you heard about a Belgian movie called Calvaire? Apparently it's about a guy who stumbles into a village which has been abandoned by all of its women. From what I can gather, one of the villagers decides to make this man his stand-in wife, and he vents his anger on him in all sorts of awful ways. Soon the rest of the village also wants a piece of the surrogate wife too. The director Fabrice Du Welz -- claims that it is as much a love story as it is a horror story.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 02:28 pm:   

Saw Narnia. It is bloodless on all levels, which doesn't help the allegory any.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 03:04 pm:   

I just ordered Calvaire last week, Nathan. Should have a report on it by Mon or Tues.

Marc, I'm sorry. How was Swinton.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 03:45 pm:   

Swinton had a few moments, but never totally rose to the occasion. Nothing was really as I'd hoped. I sat there feeling as if the real sacrifice was Lewis's vision, and the only blood being let was the life flowing out of the story. Ray Winstone did a beaver's voice; he was good. Tumnus was good. The girl who played Lucy was great. The others were flat. Maybe I found them just as annoying as the flat characters in the book. Lewis can't hold a candle to Nesbit for evoking a lifelike pack of kids. Too bad they've made even worse adaptations of her books...

It made me appreciate Jackson's work on LOTR a great deal more. You can't watch the battle scenes in this movie and not compare them to that...everywhere, it invites comparison, stealing little notes from Jackson here and there, but never nailing anything exactly. Speaking of redemption, it is kind of amusing when Old St. Nick the Arms Dealer shows up and hands out weapons various plot coupons to be redeemed later (http://www.ansible.co.uk/Ansible/plotdev.html).

They also add a London bombing at the beginning of the movie, and manage to make it seem tame and unthreatening. They should have stolen some stuff from HOPE & GLORY for that.

What really depresses me is that they had to clear more theaters for the blockbuster, thus bumping Capote before I could see it.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 05:35 pm:   

Sounds fairly painful. But I would like to hear Winstone's beaver voice. Oh well.

Back to work.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 06:02 pm:   

I give a 21 gun salute to the Homecoming episode on Masters of Horror.

If only they'd had more money to spend on the sets...
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 06:06 pm:   

Watched the Twilight Samurai.

Likely the best film I watched in 2005.

From time to time there are objections made to film that it exercises an undue influence on viewers.

Guess it's a shame that we don't get more ritual suicide at Hollywood studios :-)
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 06:52 pm:   

So I'm going to cave in and buy a region-free DVD player, at last. Can anyone point me to a reputable site? Is there anything I should avoid at all cost?
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 07:41 pm:   

PM, good to hear about that one...I had it on short-term loan and never got around to watching it. So it'll go back on my list for a time when I'm in the mood.

Time to bring up HARA KIRI again, speaking of ritual suicide. One of the all time great films.

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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 08:03 pm:   

Ditto on Hara Kiri.

The DVD player I've got is a Phillips which costs about 60 bucks at target and seems serviceable.
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Robert
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 09:14 am:   

I think this is the DVD player I have "Philips DVP642 DVD Player." You should be able to get it from BestBuy's Web site or Amazon for $50-$60. There's a code to enter to get it to be region free (I found it in the Amazon reviews).

I made the mistake of watching the most recent Masters of Horror (Deer Woman). It's a really bland and by the numbers cop hunts supernatural killer story. Each one I see makes me appreciate the earlier ones more as they were more entertaining. Homecoming may be the last one I'll try.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 09:46 am:   

Yeah, that's the model. Daewoo makes a good cheap one, too.

You got more patience than me with MOH.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:53 am:   

Hey, thanks, guys.
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kellys
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   

I just bought an all-region player too. A JVC – a bit more expensive than the Daewoo.

The eminent release of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance pushed me over the edge. There's no way I was gonna wait a whole year for Tartan, or any U.S. company, to get on the ball.

Can't wait to be able to check out Malefique too.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 01:55 pm:   

Join us..... :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 02:22 pm:   

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