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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   

   By MarcL 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.
   By Lucius 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.
   By PM 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...
   By PM 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
   By Nathan Ballingrud 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?
   By MarcL 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.

   By Lucius 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.
   By Robert 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.
   By Lucius 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.
   By Nathan Ballingrud on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:53 am:

Hey, thanks, guys.
   By kellys 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.
   By Lucius on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 01:55 pm:

Join us.....
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:07 pm:   

Watched Kings Game, a Danish thriller, which won 8 Danish Oscars. It's kind of plodding, but well-acted and photographed. About corruption in Danish politics and the partnership of the media with various politcians. But it's the kind of movie that needs to be seen in this country. Might be a good remake.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 07:22 am:   

During a sick day, I decided to make the most of my billion cable channels and prowl the premium movie networks. Finally Saw Kill Bill, Part 2, and, against my will and better judgment, was impressed. The guy really knows how to create a cinematic universe and suck you in. And that Thurman-Hannah catfight. Damn.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 08:13 am:   

You're still having a sick day, but I will say two was better than one...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 08:20 am:   

Hey, don't get me wrong. I know it's all trashy, disposable fun. And the "emotional" stuff with Bill and B.B. at the end was a bit much, but what action and what visuals. I also thought his use of music was particularly effective.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 08:27 am:   

It was okay, but the martial art stuff sucked and the movie ended for me when MM bought it. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 10:29 am:   

For what it's worth, coming attractions for WOLF CREEK look decent.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 11:04 am:   

You don't read these movie threads, do you? You just post? :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 11:06 am:   

Hey, has anyone heard of a flick called Wolf Creek?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 11:10 am:   

Sure I read 'em. I never miss 'em! Ben Peek said it had a good rep. Or are you referring to the time lag between his post and mine???

Another thing I saw on my sick day was MIRACLE. I'm curious how your advocacy for Kurt Russell balances against your aversion to formulaic treacle. MIRACLE had about every sports cliche in the book...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 11:29 am:   

We've mentioned Wolf Creek on several occasions since, including a couple of references to the trailer.

No, I didn't much care for Miracles, but Kurt was the best thing-- indeed, the only thing --in it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 11:55 am:   

Well, there was Patricia Clarkson, too, but, yeah, not much more than that.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 05:55 pm:   

i'm glad my opinion carries such weight round here--to the point where everyone, but mostly lucius, is ignored ;)

ah. i'm such a funny guy.

anyhow: i saw THE CONSTANT GARDENER, which i liked. wasn't perfect, but it was nice to see a film that just, i dunno, acknowledged that there was a real world for it to interact with. no waddling dragons.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 06:51 am:   

The guy who was the real life inspiration for Wolf Creek was convicted today. I was vaguely following the case, and I'm not surprised. It seemed pretty open and shut.

When I was backpacking in Australia, I was told that the man who was the real inspiration for Crocodile Dundee had been killed by the police in a drug fueled shootout. It's the type of story you want to believe, but it was told by a tour guide, and I know some of their other stories were bullshit.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 01:10 pm:   

Ben, your influence dwarfs us all.


Robert, maybe it was Paul Hogan who got killed in a shootout.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 04:51 am:   

robert: that story about the real life crocodile dundee influence is true. i actually didn't hear the bit about it being drug fueled, but it was a few years back, and yes, he did, indeed, die in a shoot out with the police. apparently he'd gone bush after breaking up with his wife, but that could also be wrong.

but dying in a police shootout, that's true.

sadly, it wasn't paul hogan.

that backpacker guy (if it's the same one) hasn't be so open and shut over here. lot of people think the girlfriend did it. i haven't really been following it, but a friend of mine was swearing by it today.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 05:41 am:   

Pity about Hogan... :-)
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 06:26 am:   

I wonder how much nationalism plays in this. I was getting the news from British sources, so they're more likely to be favorable to the girlfriend. I guess Australian sources are more favorable to the locals. I didn't see much of her story, but the guy's alibi was so full of holes.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 11:04 am:   

I saw King Kong last night and, although tired and headachey this morning, I'm still grinning. I loved pretty much all of it. Me, I thought the pacing was perfect.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 02:37 pm:   

robert, i'm really not the expert about this, but i got the feel it wasn't nationalism in the portrayal. no one seemed to doubt that bradley killed falconio, but a lot seemed to think his girlfriend's story didn't quite hold up, y'know?

there's a wikipedia rundown if you're curious. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Falconio

might be of interest to people who want to see WOLF CREEK, too. (the film could be based off other backpacker murders, or the snowtown murders. we have some nice ones in outback australia, i tells you.)

on the movie front, i saw MIRROR MASK and thought it was visually quite interesting. bit light on plot and nothing surprising, but i thought mckean put together an at times visually stunning film.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 02:50 pm:   

I just saw Kong again, because so many of my friends liked it --- this time, it really blew. Except for the WWF Monster Smackdown, it is, INO, a bad movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 03:19 pm:   

The first Kong was a poorly disguised tribute to white supremacy, and I really wonder why, as Dino said, everybody loves the Big Monkey. if in a part of the American audience, this passion isn't explained by latent racism. The trouble with this Kong, it manages to sustain that part, but its grotesque length succeeds in blowing apart the fairy tale. I could accept that Fay Wray was a ditz who had a soft spot for a gorilla, but Naomi, after the extra hour of punishment she received, all I could think was that she's some kind of freak. Men who can outrun lizards, Bruce Baxters inexplicable burst of bravery, the crummy FX (yes, some of the FX looked SKy Captain level, actors in front of bluescreen), the incredible resiliency of Watts' body to sustain a shaking that would have snapped the neck of an ordinary mortal, the horrid motion capture sequences with Andy Serkis in the suit--they all were shoddy filmmaking and they all stood out . The pacing didn't bother me this time, but that's because I knew enough to think about other stuff during the slow-moving and uncompelling opening. Still hated the skating scene. I don't know, I guess I must be unamerican. To each his own....
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 03:37 pm:   

Oops. Not accusing you of racism, Marc. I'm just wondering how the film plays in different parts of the country, how it shake down demographically among its fans...etc. Black reaction to lines like, In his own land he was a king, but he was brought this country in chains. Etc.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 03:44 pm:   

I know that if I go to see Kong I'll be going to see Watts.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   

Yeah, well...she does her best with the lines she's given and does a good job being plucky.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 03:57 pm:   

I haven't seen this Kong but I tend to think of it as a morality play of male sexual failure...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 04:51 pm:   

Kong hugging the spire of the Empire State being a metaphor for...Excuse me, I was just seized by a sudden urge to ride the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 05:16 pm:   

She gives Kong plenty of finger rubs.

Nope, the big monkey falls because of hubris, daring to love a white woman.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 06:31 pm:   

Dave, try to resist doing anything that you'll regret at the top of the Washington Monument...

It's just a movie...watch out for white women :-)
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Robert
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 05:53 am:   

Thanks Ben, I hadn't seen a lot of the defense evidence. I'm still not sure if I'll catch the film in theaters. I'm not normally a fan of this sort of horror movie, but it does intrigue me more than most films coming out now.

I agree on MirrorMask. Visually stunning, but light on plot.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 10:09 pm:   

Finally got around to watching Calvaire (The Ordeal), It's the story of Marc Stevens, a French lounge singer who earns a living singing love songs to audiences in old age homes. He's on his way to perform at Christmas gala, when his van breaks down on a country road and he's led to an inn by a possibly disturbed young man who's searching for his dog. The owner of the inn, one Bartel, claims to have been a comedian who lost his sense of humor when his wife left him; he volunteers to fix Marc's van, claims no mechanic is available, cooks him breakfast, but instead of fixing the van, he breaks into it and, ultimately vandalizes it. He continues to obsess about his wife, warns Marc not to go into the village. Marc senses he's starting to lose it and tries to get away, but Bartel knocks him out, drags him into the house, clothes him in one of his wife's old dresses, and proceeds to do a hack job on his hair and make him into his wife. Eventually the villagers learn about Marc -- one of the villagers was in love with Bartel's wife and envies him his Marc. The villagers are a degraded lot -- think sort of a Gallic Deliverance. The dance they do in a crummy simply has to be seen. Things get weirder and bloodier...the only problem I had with Calvaire was that it seemed truncated, but as is, it's pretty effective horror.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 08:44 pm:   

Hah! That's what I was hoping to hear. I'll order it!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   

Movie of the week

Bride of Frank (NTSC Region 1)

The legendary underground sensation that's been illegally duplicated andbootlegged around the world is finally available legitimately on DVD!
Frank O'Brien is a smelly but lovable ex-homeless man who works at a warehousein the industrial wastelands of New Jersey. He has a job, an apartment in thewarehouse, and five cats. But Frank is lonely. He needs a woman. One of hisco-worker places a Personals ad for Frank in a local paper. The ad draws aseries of obnoxious, bitchy, demanding women ? and one good one who willbecome The Bride of Frank. The others. well, they're not so lucky.
See, Frank's a proud man -- 'a workin' man' -- who won't toleratebeing insulted or abused. When his dates make unfair judgments about his age orhis appearance, Frank loses his temper and kills them. Kills them in SPECTACULARways.
Moral of the story: Don't mess with Frank. If Frank tells you, 'I'll cutoff your head and s*** down your neck,' it's no idle boast. He'll DO it --and you'll SEE it -- in Escalpo Don Balde's hilarious trash classic, THE BRIDEOF
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 12:46 pm:   

This would be a great double feature with I SPIT IN YOUR GRAVY.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 12:48 pm:   

Wow, did I see a bizarro flick this weekend. Kurosawa's A SNAKE OF JUNE. Damn, does that guy have some imagination! I was right there with him until that "Doctor Octopus"-style claw came out of the photographer's pants.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

then what did you do? :-)
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 01:38 pm:   

Rented some movies: Audition, Kontroll, and Osama.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 02:12 pm:   

Three hits... :-)
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JTS
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 05:10 pm:   

The torture scene in Audition still gives me the creeps, but otherwise that's a great film.

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 08:35 pm:   

Courtesy of a friend in LA, I got a screener of Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. It's an elegaic western about two friends, both cowboys, who work on a South Texas ranch. When Melquiades says, I don't want to buried on this side, all these fucking billboards, Pete (Jones) promises to bury Mel in his home town of Jimenez, and when Mel ends up dead in the desert, the victim of a gunshot, Pete heads south with the badly decomposed body. Scriptwriter Guillermo Arriaga, working in non-linear mode, weaves together three stories, that of a border patrolman's loveless marriage, of Pete and good ol' boy sherrif Dwight Yoakum vieing for the attention of a married truckstop waitress; and a lonely old man (Levon Helm) waiting for death...but this isn't a whodunnit -- we learn the identity of Mel's killer long before movie's end. The real mystery is a philosophical one that Jones' confronts on his way to bury his friend.
A really good contemporary western...with great cinematography by Chris Menges and a sure directorial touch by Jones.
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JTS
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 09:24 pm:   

Sounds not too dissimilar from The Proposition,
which I liked quite a bit, do you know when this is going to be released.

I finally got around to watching Read My Lips, It's a Romantic thriller about a secretary, Carla Behm (Emmanuelle Devos - Winner "Best Actress" 2002 Cesar Awards)A talented woman overqualified for her job, still, her coworkers ridicule her daily for her plain looks, all the while taking credit for her best work. She's on the verge of cracking until she gets permission to hire an assistant.

Enter Paul Angeli (Vincent Cassel - Crimson Rivers, Birthday Girl). A suave, light-fingered ex-con unqualified for the simplest of tasks. However when it comes time to steal a file a co-worker has pilfered from Carla's desk, Paul has all the skills that Carla requires. Soon he discovers Carla's uncanny ability to read lips, Paul enlists Carla in a revenge plot against a crooked loan shark.

This is very remeniscent of the type of film Hollywood used to to make all the time, yet no longer seem that interested, (in fact the film has a strong American film type feel, so strong that without the subtitles you would be sure this was an American film.

Tightly edited, with some great performances, (particulary the leads), with a good sense of pace, the only thing negative about the film is that the love angle seems to be somewhat mishandled, pretty much your standard two people from opposite sides of the track, type of love angle, still this is a pretty good thriller all up.



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JTS
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 09:34 pm:   

By the way, the director of Read My Lips, Jacques Audiard, has just released a movie here in Australia called the beat my heart skipped, sounds quite good, has anyone seen it.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 10:13 pm:   

Nope, I'll check it out.

The Three Burials is playing in limited release in LA. I doubt it'll get a wide release.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 08:29 am:   

It's gotten quite a bit of press. I'll bet it at least does the national arthouse circuit.

I've always enjoyed Levon Helm's work as as actor. Even in not-so-great stuff (Seagal's THE FIRE DOWN BELOW), he projects a great deal of sincerity and authenticity. I know he had a bout with throat cancer...was that the sole reason we haven't seen more of him onscreen?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 08:30 am:   

BTW, there was a Rolling Stone piece four or five years ago on the lives of Helm and his daughter in Woodstock that I always thought would make a great indie script.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 08:45 am:   

Yeah, Dave. I meant a big realease. It'll probably go arthouse. It's a nice movie. Check it out.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 09:18 am:   

To answer your earlier question, Lucius, I kept watching until the bitter end, but in a state of blissful confusion instead of rapt attention...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 09:50 am:   

Well, blissful's always good.
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kellys
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 10:44 am:   

I believe a Snake of June is a Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo) film?

And The Beat That My Heart Skipped is already on US DVD. Haven't checked it out yet though.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 11:06 am:   

I ordered it, so we'll see pretty soon. Looks good.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 11:37 am:   

Yep, Kelly, you are correct. My bad.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 02:38 pm:   

I watched THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST last night. I was in the mood for a Christmas movie. It's total rock opera. Puts JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR to shame.

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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 03:12 pm:   

I must say that I am curious about Gibson's new historical epic APOCALYPTO, the trailer for which was shown this AM on the Today show.

I hear he's negotiating for a rock opera called BLIGHT MY MAYA.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 04:21 pm:   

The APOCALYPTO trailer looks cool. I must say, after watching THE PASSION I was pretty excited to see his next flick.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/touchstone/apocalypto/
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 06:15 pm:   

Don't really know quite what to make of Gibson.

Except that there will be violence.

Still as violent as ever even in his religious turn.

He's on a strange journey and if this continues perhaps we'll think of Kurtz...

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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 07:17 pm:   

I can't tell if you guys are joking or not, so I'm not saying nothin'.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 07:30 pm:   

When I watched the Passion in the theater I was amazed at the number of families present.

Great family movie!

What I couldn't understand is why there wasn't an upsurge in teen flagellations and crucifixions...

I certainly was bruised and scarred by the event!
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 09:43 pm:   

Can't say I'm much for SNL skits but this one is too clever by far:

http://youtube.com/watch.php?v=IggTu7kV7No&search=lazy%20sunday%20snl
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 09:47 pm:   

No way was I going to watch Passion in the theater. I faint. Although having seen it, I must say it wasn't nearly as gory/violent as the hype led me to believe, nor did I find it particularly disturbing. I thought the costumes, the sets, the lighting were all great; technically it was beautiful. But at no point did I feel any conviction that I was watching anything more than a so-so actor covered in red glycerine.

Apocalypto looks as good as any trailer out there. I know that's not saying much.

I've got a copy of Kurosawa's CURE to watch this week, and I also borrowed MONSTER. But all this must be sandwiched in between episodes of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (Season 2).
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 09:48 pm:   

Oh yeah, the Chronic-what-icles of Narnia kick the ass of any fun that's been made of King Kong.

I tried watching a bunch of the Lonely Island guys's other stuff yesterday and didn't see anything nearly as good.
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kellys
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 07:37 am:   

MarcL: Kurosawa's Cure is a great supernatural thriller.

Never got to see Monster; it seemed little more than a vehicle for a Hollywood actress to get her hair dirty and go for the Oscar (a la Monster's Ball the year before).

Saw Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance last weekend. It lacks the energy, likable main actor, and narrative drive of Oldboy, but it has a great cynical intensity and an overwhelming feeling of doom, not to mention some almost surreal turns of direction by Chan-Wook Park. Definitely worth checking out.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 09:19 am:   

Yeah, I like Sympathy a lot.

Gonna try and watch something tonight, but I may have too much to do.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   

Watched Audition and Kontroll. Of the two, I liked Kontroll way better.
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kellys
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 10:23 am:   

The other day I saw a German film called Head On, an edgy, situational comedy, the likes of which you'd never see from Hollywood anymore. Intense performances by the two leads, a cool soundtrack, and a spontaneous story (which only becomes a bit tiresome and predictable in the last act) make this worth at least a rental.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 09:16 am:   

Monster = surprisingly dull!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 09:42 am:   

A Lifetime Televison for Women movie.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 11:56 am:   

Haven't bothered to see it.

Leolo arrived a few days ago. Think I'm going to love it...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 12:38 pm:   

Stephen did you mail that thing yet
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   

Nope. Are you in a hurry?
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   

I emailed you about a detail. Did you get it?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 01:00 pm:   

Hold onto it a while. Wait for signal.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 01:22 pm:   

We sound like secret agents, or something.:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 01:49 pm:   

Have you seen the black bird flying?

No, but I have felt his shadow.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, December 23, 2005 - 02:31 pm:   

Have you drank the pale moon's light?

When the white rabbit comes a knockin' on my door.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, December 24, 2005 - 09:58 pm:   

Munich opened at a theater nearby...may take a look early next week.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 10:34 am:   

I went to see Breakfast on Pluto last night. Given Neil Jordan's previous collaboration with McCabe, this was terribly disappointing. Jordan can be great, but he can also be godawful. This tilts toward the godawful. Seeing the Trouble through the eyes of a drag queen is an interesting idea, but seeing it though the eyes of a ditz...it's like setting a romantic comedy in the time frame around 9/11...
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 12:34 pm:   

Those Lovecraft collections have been mentioned.

Here's the first Poe collection:

Edgar Allan Poe Collection Volume. 1: Annabel Lee (NTSC Region 1)
Edgar Allan Poe Collection Volume. 1: Annabel Lee

The first volume in The Edgar Allan Poe Collection contains some excellent adaptations of Poe's work including George Higham's award winning stop-motion puppet-animation film inspired by the poem Annabel Lee.

Annabel Lee is quintessential Poe, a haunted soul, a lost love and the nocturnal grave-quest. The epic quality of this Orphic adventure includes expressionist visions of a lone figure on a journey through a nightmarish landscape in order to be re-united with his lost love... but first he must overcome the wrath of the "Envious Angels" that ruined his world.

"Visionary puppeteer George Higham emphasizes the inherent creepiness of moving puppets and sets them against a backdrop of rich expressionist detail. ANNABEL LEE stands as a visual triumph and Higham a name to watch for,"—Rue Morgue Magazine.
The volume also includes Peter Bradley's The Raven, and The Tell-Tale Heart (starring European Horror legend Paul Nashy), & an interview with Poe expert Paul Clemens (A&E Biography).

NTSC Region 1

Has anyone seen this? D'you think it'll be any good?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 01:05 pm:   

I asked that same question a while back. Nobody had seen it, but I bet it's good.
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 01:33 pm:   

Yeah, I think I'll spring for it. I wonder if there's any Canadian dealers that have it? Otherwise, Diabolik...
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 02:10 pm:   

I saw Munich just now. Much better than I expected. Probably the best movie I've seen this year, which may very well be damning by faint praise. A little heavy-handed, a little too long, but it's effective. I'll see what I think of it after it's had a little time to sink in.
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 02:17 pm:   

And it's suprisingly unsentimental, especially given that it's a Spielberg movie.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 03:16 pm:   

I've watched "A Christmas Story" twice in the last two days. I miss Darrin McGavin.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 07:39 pm:   

Everything I've seen (trailer) and heard/read (reviews) of Wolf Creek make it sound like something I'd hate. And it's all summed up as something only a horror fan could love. Guess I'm not the horror fan I used to be.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2005 - 09:05 pm:   

Well, it is a horror movie, isn't it? Sure, it's some sick shit, but personally, the blood never looks real and I never feel moved to ape what I see on the screen, and while its not my favorite kind of movie, a good example of that kind piques my interest as to, hey, maybe it does something interesting in the way of tension generation or something, I doubt I'll see it, but it's higher on my list than Munich. As is Cheaper By The Dozen 2.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 07:38 am:   

The prospect of seeing Carmen Electra married to Eugene Levy is rather fascinating, I must admit.

Wolf Creek is on my list. Anyone know anything about Hostel?

What was up with A Christmas Story? I remember this thing when it came out, and nobody particularly liked it, then, about eight or ten years ago, TBS started playing it like it was a "classic" and suddenly, it was being force-fed to America! I mean, it's OK, but is it that easy to create a "timeless classic" by just saturation-bombing America with it? And, yes, I echo yr feelings re: McGavin. He was always fun to watch, even in stuff like Billy Madison.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 08:48 am:   

Yeah, McGavin was cool, but I'm with Dave. A Christmas Story is okay, but basically what I take away is that ultra-annoying voiceover.

Nope on Hostel.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 11:08 am:   

Have you seen Naked? I'm thinking of ordering it.

I'll probably see Wolf Creek. Doubt I'll bother with Munich or WOTW.

Marc, you seem a little squeamish. It must be all those kids you've had.:-)
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 11:12 am:   

Kurosawa's CURE was very nice. Managed to creep me out. Hit the right note between a psychobabble explanation and the inexplicable (occult) angle, by dragging Mesmer into it. It reused the typical J-horror dripping water motif in such a way that it was effective again. I guess it helps that I watched it when I was tired, and actually nodded off for a moment near the very end, jerking awake to see a bloody specter in a wheelchair. The fact that this image remains completely out of context for me only deepened my enjoyment of the film. Same thing happened when I watched CHAOS, for that matter.

This is the first Kurosawa I've seen, but I'm looking forward to others.

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 11:41 am:   

Bright Future is a curious movie. And Charisma. He also did a remake of Seance on a Wet Afternoon called Seance, which doesn't have the impact of Cure, but adds subtantially to the remake. It's interesting that foreign remakes of our movies generally outstrip them, whereas the reverse is true of our remakes.

Naked is arguably Mike Leigh's best picture.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 11:42 am:   

Bright Future is a curious movie. And Charisma. He also did a remake of Seance on a Wet Afternoon called Seance, which doesn't have the impact of Cure, but adds subtantially to the original. It's interesting that foreign remakes of our movies generally outstrip them, whereas the reverse is true of our remakes.

Naked is arguably Mike Leigh's best picture.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 11:48 am:   

So it's worth owning? It sounds like a tough movie to watch at times, but absolutely worth it.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:20 pm:   

NAKED is not only one of Leigh's best, but David Thewliss's best as well. Which reminds me...I need to get a copy of NUTS IN MAY. LIFE IS SWEET, NUTS IN MAY, and NAKED are my favorite Leigh films, although there are moments I love in almost all of them. CAREER GIRLS is my favorite of the movies he's made since NAKED, although it's been almost completely overlooked.

I've got SEANCE and BRIGHT FUTURE on the way from the library, actually. BRIGHT FUTURE wasn't available when I first ordered up all the Kiyoshi Kurosawa I could find, but it was there this morning.

As for Akira Kurosawa, I just got STRAY DOG on tape. I'm ecstatic to have dug up a Kurosawa thriller I haven't already seen.

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Mastadge
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:35 pm:   

NAKED features a brilliant performance from Thewlis. Worth seeing even just for that alone. It's also a great movie to watch if you're ever feeling sorry for yourself -- it'll snap you right out of that.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 12:38 pm:   

Remarkably, your three favorite Leigh films are also mine.

Yeah, I think it's worth owning...Though I haven't watched it as much as Life is Sweet, which I also own, but LIS is a comedy.....
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   

Thanks, guys. Ordered it along with The Hole.

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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 02:59 pm:   

The Ring Companion:

http://www.midnighteye.com/books/ring-companion.shtml

Seems to answer all the questions anyone could have about the Ring/Ringu movies. (Although I note those are arising less and less these days.)

And another article from the useful and entertaining Midnight Eye, on the trajectory of J-Horror:

http://www.midnighteye.com/features/death-of-j-horror.shtml

If you're at all interested in this stuff, I recommend subscribing to the Midnight Eye mailing list.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 03:20 pm:   

Thanks, Marc
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 05:05 pm:   

Watched Osama. Thought it was great. And even though it's depressing, just the fact that this story got told and released in Afghanistan is heartening. I'll be keeping an eye on Barmak's next picture.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 05:44 pm:   

Check out Turtles Can Fly.....
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 05:44 pm:   

About J-Horror: I haven't really seen that much. I'm not sure what to think about Miike. I understand that he's trying to do different things with the horror genre, as well as commenting on his society, which is fine. But Audition left me a little cold, I guess. It's not the grusome torture scene at the end, which yes, made me cringe a bit -- probably what he was going for. It's more his message concerning the abused, paticularly women. It's almost as if he's trying to drive the sympathy away from the abused women, and give it back to the lonely middle aged man. Sure, I'm not saying he isn't deserving of any sympathy what-so-ever, but almost. Instead of trying to find an appropriately compatable women, he creepily abuses his position to scout for beautiful young women to date. And in the end, he pays for it -- in a most cruel and unusual manner. I just don;t like how the girl's portrayed.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 05:46 pm:   

Actually, I was given Turtles Can Fly as a gift. Just haven't recieved it yet.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 08:39 pm:   

AUDITION is all about that wriggling sack. That was the essence of terror for me--the place where I got an actual chill instead of nausea. I had to turn it off at the climax, wait a day, then rewind from the end (a little at a time) till I got to the place where I'd stopped.

Still, I love Miike for HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS, and I've heard that BIRD PEOPLE OF CHINA is equally wonderful. That sums him up for me: he can make an over the top musical comedy one moment, then a restrained horror movie the next.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 08:41 pm:   

StephenB, if you liked OSAMA you should watch KANDAHAR. It has probably the most powerful final image of any movie I've seen.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 26, 2005 - 10:08 pm:   

Yea! I just tracked down a DVD of the Match Factory Girl by Kaurismaki, his best picture!!!! It's on its way,
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 06:56 am:   

A belated comment on NAKED. I bought it and watched it again a dozen years later, and it still holds up. If anything, it's even better now that all of Johnny's apocalyptic predictions can be seen as so much nonsense. I kept thinking to myself, "How did Thewlis DO that?" and that's the highest praise I can give an actor...
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 12:27 pm:   

Marc, Audition and Visitor Q are all I have to go by...



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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 12:41 pm:   

I plan to ring in the New Year with a Seagal as "Jonathan Cold" double feature: THE FOREIGNER and the brand new BLACK DAWN. It's going to be the bestest New Year ever!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 01:22 pm:   

No comment.

Let me know about Black Dawn.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 02:18 pm:   

Early word on the Net compares it with TODAY YOU DIE, so I'm bracing for the worst.
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Bill Reynolds/Socrates17
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 04:19 pm:   

Naked is also my favorite Leigh film (the next is Life is Sweet but after that I have to go with Topsy Turvey, partially due to a lifelong passion for Gilbert and Sullivan, so I'm only 2/3s with you guys. I was indoctrinated by my mother who played G&S songs and from the time I could speak, I'd sing along with her piano playing.)

Thewlis' performance is like watching a great jazz solo, its musical. I tell everyone who will listen that it is the greatest performance ever put on film by a biped.

StephenB - where are you ordering it? I got my DVD from ezyDVD in Australia. Very fast service considering that I live in New Jersey. I saw that DaaVeeDee's zAmazon store has it, but with the exchange rate at the time, it was cheaper ordering it direct from Australia (even with the airfreight.) The exchange rate doesn't help as much now and the difference is negligible (US$21.72 + shipping.) Besides, I've used ezyDVD before, although I'm too embarrassed to tell you what it was that I bought. Please send me some feedback on DaaVeeDee if that's where you're getting it.

Lucius - where did you get Match Factory Girl? I found it on a Swedish site and a Finnish site but both claimed subtitles only in Swedish. I just saw that DaaVeeDee has that also and I'll probably get a copy from him since, as I've said, my copy only has Japanese subtitles.

DaaVeeDee has one hell of a selection. I've been tempted to give him a try and have been browsing his selection of stuff from Spain but I'm able to get Spanish DVDs much cheaper from DVDGO in Spain even including the shipping. DVDGO also manages to get my stuff to me in less than a week. DaaVeeDee (I'm getting sick of typing that) seems to have some films that are now out of print in Spain so between that and the Kaurismaki its inevitable that I'll try him. Feedback would still be appreciated.

Lucius - if you can get past your distaste for La Cienaga (which I bought but still haven't watched) Holy Girl, which I raved about on this board early this year, is now out here on DVD. I've seen it on several critics' best of the year lists, not that that means anything, given that last year so was the abhorrent Million Dollar Baby.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 09:13 pm:   

I went for the Daveedee disc. And I'll try Holy Girl. Thanks, Bill.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 03:36 pm:   

Bill, I ordered it through amazon.ca.

What's Daveedee's site?
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 04:58 pm:   

http://stores.ebay.com/DaaVeeDee
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 05:57 pm:   

Browsing through that list I was stopped short by Elia Kazan's A FACE IN THE CROWD. Man, what a great movie. It's all the Andy Griffith you'll ever need.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 06:00 pm:   

They also carry Miike's THE BIRD PEOPLE IN CHINA. I never knew so much of the cast was American (John Goodman...Jason Robards).

These PAL editions don't do me much good, however.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 07:08 pm:   

A FACE IN THE CROWD was awesome. People who think of him as Andy of Mayberry are really missing out.
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Bill Reynolds/Socrates17
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 09:25 am:   

I didn't know DaaVeeDee had an eBay store as well as an Amazon store. A couple of brief comparisons suggest that perhaps his eBay Buy It Now prices are a little cheaper than his Amazon prices which, as I said, I've usually been able to beat, but I didn't check enough to be really sure.

Still seems like a great resource, whichever store is used. I haven't compared inventory to see if the title list differs that much.

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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 10:49 am:   

I watched STRAY DOG last night. Great early Kurosawa thriller (1949) about a detective, a veteran of WW2, whose pistol is stolen and ends up in the hands of another vet...a dark mirror image of himself.

The detective gets paired up with an older cop, one of Kurosawa's greatest regulars, Takashi Shimura.

Now I feel stupid. The detective himself is a young, very intense Toshiro Mifune. So young I didn't recognize him until I just checked IMDB to find Shimura's name. No wonder the guy's so damn great. It all makes sense now.

There's a very Hitchcockian sequence involving misunderstandings over a telephone.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 10:58 am:   

My DVD player and my VHS player are both crapping out at the same time, so I'm thinking of getting a combo unit that will play both DVDs and tapes. I suspect it's going to be hard to find one that will also let me hack the DVD region coding, but I'm putting it out there...if anyone has recommendations for brand or model, let me know. I rarely play anything but Region 1 DVDs so it's not that big a deal, and I've got another Daewoo set that I can use...but it'd be handy to have it all in one set.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 04:01 pm:   

Opinion: Munich is very good.
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   

I agree with you. I wasn't intending to see it, but given the circumstances it was that or see Kong again, so I took my chances, and am glad of it.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 06:21 pm:   

This is the best movie Spielberg has made in a long, long, long time. It's not without cheesy sentiment: There are several very contrived bits of dialog hitting on the baldly stated theme of "Home" which appear to have been stuck into the mix like M&Ms on the smiley-face of a cookie. Like M&Ms, they just sit there or fall off depending on which way you shake the cookie; they never melt into the batter no much how you bake it. Actually, these lines hit you more like a pie in the face than a cookie.

On the other hand, there are a couple of scenes between Avner and his family (wife and mother) which are the most natural domestic/family scenes Spielberg has ever done. (For once he's let go of trying to create a simulation of WASPy suburban middle America, thank god.) These eventually go too far, but the first few are really nice. Really.

As for the thriller aspect, I don't think I've enjoyed once this much since RONIN.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 10:19 pm:   

BRIGHT FUTURE awaits!

Sorry to hear your take on BREAKFAST ON PLUTO, but I always approach Jordan cringing, praying to be amazed, but nowadays expecting to be tormented instead. From MONA LISA to WE'RE NO ANGELS...from THE BUTCHER'S BOY to IN DREAMS...from COMPANY OF WOLVES to INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE...not to mention HIGH SPIRITS... From the heights to the crashing depths.

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Rich Patterson
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 10:51 pm:   

Hey Marc,

Just buy yourself an outboard DVD burner and downloaded yer movies. No need for any "phatter" connection than ISDN.


IMO BRIGHT FUTURE was cool, CURE very good, PULSE great, and SEANCE OK. DOPPLEGANGER was entertaining but nowhere near the quality of CURE or PULSE. Haven't seen CHARISMA.

Just picked-up TURTLES CAN FLY on your recommendation and looking forward to it.

Rich




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Rich Patterson
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 11:02 pm:   

ML, sorry for wrong spellings... am downloading a large quantity of whiskey as I type... happy new year to you, yours and our gracious host Lucius. Looking forward to reading "The Emperor" during exam break.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 02:19 pm:   

Marc, the JVC HR-XVC29S duel DVD/VHS player seems to work well.

Has anyone seen 2046?
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 02:21 pm:   

Though it's region 1 only...
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 08:25 pm:   

Happy New Calendar Day Eve.

I'm talking to you, calendar industry.

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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

Happy New Year, everyone..
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PM
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 06:47 pm:   

Everyone, new year, happy!

Held off watching any number of today's mediocre to less than mediocre offerings as I anticipated that the minions would be wanting to watch. Not one word from anyone.

Watched those 'classic' Bond films on Spike tv :-)

Could have watched Munich today but ate a Cinnabun instead. It had caramel and pecans and was very tasty.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:24 am:   

At the new theater by my office you can buy a fresh Cinnabon at the Cinnabon concession stand in the lobby, and eat it while you're watching Munich. Srsly.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 08:28 am:   

Both items sticky and a little too sweet.
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PM
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:42 am:   

I stick a fork in mine...

and 2001 is appealing on the video iPod!
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Robert
Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 03:37 pm:   

I saw a bunch of rubbish over the holidays. Alexander was the worst of them. The epic battle scenes were the most dull ones I've seen in recent memory. I'd rather watch Troy again, and that was very bad, but everything about it was better.

It wasn't all crap that I watched. I enjoyed An Ideal Husband. It was a pretty good adaptation of the play.

Silencio Roto was good as well. It was a drama about a small town during the Spanish Civil War, and the conflict between those loyal to the government and to the rebels.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 06:42 am:   

Okay, so I figure before I watch BLACK DAWN, the brand spankin' new Seagal, that I will watch THE FOREIGNER, the previous "Jonathan Cold" thriller that BD is supposed to be a sequel to. TF has to have the most convoluted, nonsensical, disconnected, unintelligible plot in recent history. Unreal. I can't begin to do it justice, something about a battle to possess the flight recorder of a plane shot down by an industrialist running a secret bioterrorism weapons program or whatnot. Just awful. Why they would want a sequel to this is beyond me. The good news is that BD was at least semi-coherent, capable of being followed by a viewer of average intelligence. Decent suspense, good explosions, no jive talk and a minimum of silliness. One of his better direct to DVD releases. Still, it's disheartening to see that he quite obviously does not do any of his own fight scenes anymore. The rather clumsy editing made this clear.

I know he's the busiest guy in show business, but why doesn't he just take a few months off and get himself back into fighting shape? He's not that old...I mean, it's not like he's going on Celebrity Fit Club 3 like his ex-wife...

Also watched Les Blank's BURDEN OF DREAMS and WERNER HERZOG EATS HIS SHOE. BOD was a fascinating look at what seemed like an almost insurmountable task. I'd place it right up there with HEARTS OF DARKNESS in the movie-about-making-movies category.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 07:25 am:   

I hear Seagal's in the cast of next season's the Biggest Loser. Black Dawn sounds palatable.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 07:42 am:   

Glad you saw Broken Silence, Robert. I liked it, too.

Dave, I saw the Foriegner on USA. I think it may have worked better with commercials.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:27 am:   

It could not possibly have been less coherent, even with the constant interruptions. It was almost an exercise in surrealism.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 08:32 am:   

Yeah, but the Pop Tart ads made it all work. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 10:53 am:   

I also spent a wondrous morning screening my long-sought copy of Walter Hill's STREETS OF FIRE and found that, if anything, it is even more garish, ridiculous and over the top than it was in 1984. A definite must, featuring I'll-do-anything-for-a-break performances by Willem DaFoe, Bill Paxton and Diane Lane. A beefcake-on-the-way-out turn by Rick Rossovich, and some biker-bar pole dancing (to the music of the Blasters) by "Flashdance" body double and former T.J. Hooker plaything Marine Jahan. I give this one four leg-warmers.

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