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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 08:32 pm:   

Watched Fearless, the directors cut, which restores Michelle Yeoh's scenes cut from the theatrical release. I didn't catch the theatrical release, but if this was the last Jet Li action pic, it was a pretty good one. Not deep, but shallow om a good way.

Also watched Kim Ki Duk's new one, Time -- I'm gonna have to watch it again, because I was tired and I'm not sure what happened in the end, which felt rushed to me and was confusing.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2007 - 11:49 pm:   

After reading jk's comments on ALTERED, I watched it. I'm glad I did. I'd recommend it to anyone who liked the Dawn of the Dead remake or Slither...except those are more tongue in cheek and this one mostly takes the horror more seriously. Reminded me a bit of that great little movie whose title escapes me, involving the crew of hazardous waste cleaners that goes to work in an abandoned insane asylum. Agreed, the effects are cheesy, about as good as the werewolves in Dog Soldiers, but once I got over that I didn't care. I just wanted them to do good stuff with the cheesy costumes.
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Huw
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 02:50 am:   

Session 9? That was indeed a great little film. I've just got Altered, so I'm looking forward to watching it even more now.

I saw Fearless at the DVD rental place I go to the other night. I'll have to check to see if it's the edition with Michelle Yeoh's scenes intact.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 06:06 am:   

I can't believe they cut her totally out of the theatrical release.

Session 9 may be David Caruso's career high point. No, scratch maybe. IS his high point.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 06:56 am:   

I think SESSION 9 may be the best horror pic I've seen since VIDEODROME. A great American film that too few people saw.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 07:07 am:   

I liked the Descent better, but it's good. BTW, to demonstrate its appeal, the Descent made several non-genre top ten lists.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 07:40 am:   

Time for Neil Marshall to be gobbled up by Hollywood and impressed into service on NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2????
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 07:50 am:   

Caruso's high point is a series of moments on YouTube. Someone compiled a bunch of his wry one liners and put them all together in a dense package. It's funny. I'll see if I can dig it up and post it.

It's like, The Descent was Session 9 for the ladies.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 07:53 am:   

Highlights of Caruso's Career:

http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=8733
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:06 am:   

Horatio Caine is definitely this generation's Captain James T. Kirk.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:16 am:   

Yup. Hollywood be gobblin'.

Definitely this generation's Kirk.

Thanks. Marc. That's funny.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:31 am:   

Yeah, I saw a DVD of Fearless. I am not sure which cut, but I enjoyed it. Like you said, it wasn't deep, but it was fun.

I saw "Thank you For Smoking" last night and found it pretty boring.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:33 am:   

Haven't seen Smoking. Don't feel inclined to.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:35 am:   

The Aaron Eckhart characters in IN THE COMPANY OF MEN and THANK YOU FOR SMOKING are two of the most despicable in post-war cinema.

Can this guy only play oily scumbags?
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:39 am:   

A French friend of mine recommended it. So much for taking advice from friends.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:48 am:   

That's how they've typecast him, though he played a nice guy in Erin Bockovich.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 08:49 am:   

And let's not forget the Core!!! :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 09:05 am:   

And Paycheck. I wish I could forget that one.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 09:34 am:   

Yeah. Christ, that's a hard one. Here's another one. Suspect Zero.
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Huw
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 09:39 am:   

Just saw Altered, and thought it was pretty crappy, apart from a few unintentionally hilarious scenes. The little alien guy looked like one of those Mexican wrestlers and the group of redneck buddies behaved like the Three Stooges for most of the film!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 10:07 am:   

And here I just ordered it...Oh, well.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 10:29 pm:   

God forbid anyone should spend a dime based on my recommendation. Sanity, people!

For a change of pace, I watched Rivers and Tides, the documentary about Andy Goldsworthy, the Scottish sculptor who has done amazing landscape installations using natural elements (the anti-Christo). I've had several books of his photographs, but this was a leisurely paced look at how he works and what it means to him. Recommended if you're interested in his work.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 29, 2007 - 10:50 pm:   

It's not your recommendation that concerns me pro or con, it's Huw's descripton if the rednecks -- cliched southern behavior is a particular sore point with me and this sounds as if it may piss me off. Okay?
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 12:07 am:   

I'll be interested in hearing what you think. Maybe it'll piss you off. I think the characters could have been recast in any milieu and it would have worked about the same. Drunk frat boys. Starbucks barristas. Theater critics. I've got a couple good friends from Florida and the opening scene in particular sounds like stories they tell about the stuff they got up to when they were bored...I take it more as young reckless male behavior, not particularly young reckless male Southern redneck.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 12:09 am:   

I will disclose without spoiling anything that Altered does contain a mullet, so you might be right in your premonitions of rage.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 03:48 am:   

Well, I was once a young Florida guy myself and I can tell you that the activities of such have little in common with those of either baristas or critics, and that there are a numnber of region-specific idiot habituations such as fishing for sand sharks with a rope and a case of beer, drivng drunk to Key West so one can take the Southernmost Piss in the USA, throwing cherry bombs into beach fires from the deck of a sandboat, etc., etc. I will further attest that there are distinct differences between the behavior of rednecks and the behavior of Florida crackers, which may be summed up by the old joke: what's the difference between a Jersey guy and a Floirda Cracker? Tell a Jersey guy he's stupid, and he'll go, "Hey, man! Fuck you!" Tell a Florida Cracker he's stupid and he'll crack a cold one and say, "So what?"

One of the worst things a screenwriter/director/actor can do, IMO, is to pave over such distinctions and come up with generic dialogue, actions, accents, etc... since Blair Witch didn't exactly nail regional distinctions (though it didn't need to as much, spending most of its screen time on 20-somethings who strive to be somewhat homogenous), I'm not encouraged. I find that this tehdency to approach regional distinctions as irrelevant is usually a sign of shitty filmmaking, but I'm always hopeful that a movie will avoid this pitfall...
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 05:52 am:   

Floridians aren't true southerners or so I've heard. (With the influx of Northerners and Cubans.)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 06:17 am:   

Florida Crackers are...
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 07:54 am:   

Can't say I've ever heard a Floridian call another Floridian a Cracker.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:16 am:   

Well, PM, it's a term in common usage in the state of Florida.
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:24 am:   

Aren't most rednecks in Florida located in the Redneck Riviera, the Pensacola area?
Ed Sanchez's writing "partner" is a born-again ***hole from Pensacola. Not that they've ever gotten anything made. They wrote a bigfoot script and a few other things together. Or Ed's partner wrote most of it and Ed tossed in a few ideas and put his name on them, which is what I suspect.
Anyhoo, Sanchez found the script for Altered on a website where screenwriters can post their work for supposed "industry execs" looking for material. Most of the "industry execs" are people working from their kitchen table at home, though. The website is inktip.com
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:32 am:   

No, rednecks are everywhere in Florida. Up north, around Jacksonville. Over through Ocala and Kissimmee. In central Florida...Orlando is redneck hell and Daytona's not much better. Down in the Keys, in the truck farming regions from Sanford down to Boca Raton, the cattle ranching area in Broward and environs. All along the Panhandle and north to the Georgia line. Pensacola is known more for its high percentage of senior citizens, yet there are rednecks there as well. Millions and millions of 'em.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:52 am:   

There's still hope that director Neil Marshall won't sell out to Hollywood. Here's info about his next film, via twitchfilm.net:

It's been announced that veteran actor Bob Hoskins has been cast in director Neil Marshall's upcoming "Doomsday." The science fiction horror film, which begins filming February 9th, in the UK and South Africa, revolves around the story of a massive plague named 'Reaper' that destroys most of the country killing thousands. After the effects of the plague fade, a walled community has avoided the disease as long as possible.
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Huw
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 10:58 am:   

I thought Altered had a few moments where it looked as though it could be building up to something interesting, but ultimately I was really disappointed (in fact, the best part for me was probably the first half minute or so when the title appears amid a wash of whining noise). Every time I started to feel involved with the characters and their plight something would happen to make me think "hang on a second, this doesn't make any sense" and I'd just end up shaking my head. I thought it was a little like Signs in that regard.

I think the underlying theme had potential, but it was done in such a clumsy way and with such awful effects that I just couldn't suspend my disbelief at all. It reminded me a little of both Dreamcatcher and Dog Soldiers (in fact, at least one scene seemed to be taken from the latter), but wasn't as good as either of those films (not that they were great movies, either).

Has anyone seen Ils (Them)? It's a French-Romanian horror film, and I've heard it's not bad (although it's been compared to Haute Tension, which I didn't much care for, so who knows).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 11:01 am:   

Yeah, Kelly, I read about that, and that is cool.

Huw, I read some reviews that put me off Ils in that they said it was pretty obvious from the outset what was happening.
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 05:35 pm:   

Yeah, the use of noise during the opening titles was about the most original thing in Altered.
I liked that quite a bit.
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Laird Barron
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:08 pm:   

Just rented SharkSkinMan-PeachHipGirl and enjoyed it tremendously.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:13 pm:   

Yeah, I caught that a few years back on VCD -- it was pretty cool.

I'm gonna look at something tonight. Maybe Fourth Floor, a Korean horror flick.
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Laird Barron
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:24 pm:   

We also watched Memories of Murder (absolutely first class) and Asian Extremes 3 with "Cut", "Dumplings", and Miike's "The Box" or "Box", can't quite recall. I didn't care for the 3, especially "Cut" although elements of Miike's were imaginative -- and beautifully shot.

Watched Dark Water (US version) a few weeks ago. I thought it was a sleeping pill...

Thanks for mentioning the Fourth Floor. I'll look it up.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:31 pm:   

Miike's usually a mixed bag for me. I don't generally find that anthology films do it for me, but still I keep trying 'em.

As for Dark Water, I have a feeling that what got released wasn't what Salles wanted to release. I mean why waste Tim Roth on a half-ass part like that, and why would Roth (and John C Reilley, for that matter) sign on for parts like those? Felt cut to shit to me.
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Laird Barron
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:37 pm:   

Yeah, could be. I can't take much of Jennifer Connelly(sp?) in any capacity. However, I've always liked Roth, and Reilley is a superb talent. His song number "Mr. Cellophane" in Chicago was outstanding.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:41 pm:   

You ever see Hard Eight with Reilly, dir by Paul Anderson. That's a sweet little dark film.
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Laird Barron
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 08:52 pm:   

Hell yeah -- a few years ago. Slow burn to a brutal payoff. As a kid I lived with some retirees who spent about half the year as barflies in Vegas. When they were at home in Alaska, they'd crawl out of bed about 3pm, cough up a lung until they were into their second cigarette, break out a bottle of Jim Beam and a jar of small change and play blackjack and guzzle booze until one or two in the AM. Oh, and bet on everything under the sun.

I could not get those folks out of my head while I was watching that film.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 09:03 pm:   

Sounds like some folks I knew lived in a trailer in Juneau, used to get drunk and shoot holes in the walls. Fishermen during the summer. Now deceased. I've not spent much time in Alaska, but what time I have spent has been quality time. ;)
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Laird Barron
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 09:07 pm:   

Well, your friends and mine had trailers in common, lol.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 - 09:11 pm:   

:-)


No doubt.
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Huw
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 12:12 am:   

I just heard that an old favourite movie of mine, THE YAKUZA, has been released on DVD. I saw this at the cinema way back in 1981 when I arrived in Taiwan as a teenager, and I've had an old VHS copy for years, all the time hoping it would one day get a decent DVD release. Well, it looks like it finally has! If you guys haven't seen it (and I suspect most of you have!) I highly recommend it. It stars Robert Mitchum and Takakura Ken, and was directed by Sidney Pollack.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 06:33 am:   

Yeah,that was a solid Mitchum flick. I caught it again on TV a few years back. my fisrt exposure to the yakuza. Wasn't Richard Jordan in that, too? Cool script. as I recall.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 09:50 am:   

It was a Robert Towne script, or heavily doctored by him, as I recall.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 10:03 am:   

I just looked it up. It credits Paul Schraeder and Towne. Not too shabby.
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Huw
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 12:03 pm:   

According to IMDB there's a remake of The Yakuza on the way. Not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it was made over thirty years ago, on the other, it seems kind of pointless. Why not film something else that hasn't been done before? It's not as if there's a great shortage of stories out there waiting to be adapted.

Yeah, Richard Jordan was in it too - I remember laughing at his patterned pants when I first saw them!

I hope the DVD will be the longer 123 minute version and not the 112 minute US theatrical version I have on VHS. I'm still trying to figure out whether I saw the longer version in the cinema. I could swear the swordfighting scenes were longer...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 12:13 pm:   

Well, that's the thing with all remakes, isn't it?

But yeah, here's hoping for a director's cut.
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Robert Wexler
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 09:11 am:   

Saw Pan's Labyrinth last night. I mostly really liked it up to the end, then I didn't. The end totally blew it for me. It's not even a fantasy movie, it's a movie about a little girl with a vivid imagination who reads fairy tales to escape from a horrible world. I want my fantasy to be real. If he'd made it real I would have liked it. As it was, I felt let down.

Robert
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 09:15 am:   

Yes, that's exactly what my review states --it was unnecessarily a fantasy movie. It needed to be one or the other--as it stood it was just an exercise in CGI.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 11:41 am:   

Saw a strange movie called Goto, Island of Love directed by Borowoczyk. The Quays said in an interview he was a big influence on them. The movie definitely looks like it influenced the visual style of Institute Benjamenta. Like the Quays, though, there isn't much story. It's kind of Kafka-esque, about a island ruled by a dictator, and the absurd things the people do, like a guy who's ordered to kill flies. Most of it takes place in a crumbling building. It's b&w, but there are some weird color shots that flash by for no apparent reason.
Have you seen any of his stuff Lucius? He also did that movie La Bete, which is supposed to be some kind of Euro sex-horror movie. Haven't seen that one yet.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 11:47 am:   

No, he sounds interesting,though. I'll look around for him...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 11:53 am:   

La Bete sounds like a mess. During the film the protagonist constructs a giant gorilla phallus which sprays semen over the heroine's face...Hmm.

Sounds disjointed as all hell.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:04 pm:   

Yeah, from what I read La Bete is pretty extreme. I had no idea he was an animator too, before he started doing live-action films he did Svankmajer-type animation. There's a short animated film on the dvd of Goto. Goto was hs first live-action film, in 1968. There's some nudity, but nothing like La Bete is supposed to be. He also did one called Immoral Tales that allmovie states is "visually stunning" and has one tale about Elizabeth Bathory. That might be interesting too.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:23 pm:   

E. Bathory has always interested me.

Borowoscyk was a painter first, I think. he might be worth a small expenditure.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:38 pm:   

Just saw something on History Channel about Elizabeth Bathory. Sick lady.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:46 pm:   

Great band, though. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 07:22 pm:   

Well, I got Altered today, and I gotta tell ya, Marc, that's one terrible fucking movie. You must have taken too much medication the night you watched. 8<) Jesus, I thought Blair Witch was bad. The basic idea was cool, but there it stopped. Whoa. I can't believe I watched the whole thing.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 10:20 pm:   

I've lost my touch.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 10:48 pm:   

I know you don't mean that. But wow...some of that dialogue. "They're scared shitless of you. Jimmy. When that thing was in my head, I could tell they were scared shitless." Even Jimmy looked at her like, What are you talking about?

I cleared my palette by watching the first part of Ring Around the Rosie in which Tom Sizemore plays against type in the role caretake who terrorizes two young women. :P
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jk
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 10:51 am:   

Well, I thought Altered was not as bad as it could have been, considering Mr. Blair Witch directed it. Still, that's not saying it was good. But I still think it was better than Blair Witch. That wasn't even a movie as far as I'm concerned. I can see why Universal dumped Altered straight to dvd though, those cheesy fx would just make most audiences laugh.
Unfortunately, a script like Altered is one that most new writers would have the best chance of selling, low budget horror. I wonder if a different director could have done something better with it. Well, I doubt anyone will have to suffer through another Ed Sanchez movie anytime soon, considering he's just blown it on this one, and he hasn't had any luck getting his other "co-writes" made.
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Huw
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 11:04 am:   

The tug-of-war scene between the dopey redneck (Mike from Blair Witch Project) and the little alien Mexican wrestler was kinda funny, though. Reminded me of the sarge in Dog Soldiers spilling his guts. Ugh...

The dialogue had me shaking my head for most of the film. There was the part that Lucius mentioned, and then the whole thing about not being able to kill the alien (although they sure beat him close enough to death to piss them off, I'd have thought!) because then they'd wipe out the whole human race in retaliation. Huh?!
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Huw
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 11:07 am:   

Marc, I don't think you've lost your touch! We all slip up from time to time. My own weakness for movies such as CHUD and Mimic has been well-documented in certain circles... ;-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 11:08 am:   

Jeez, I could barely watch it. In fact, it engaged so little of my interest, I answered email during the latter half. Maybe I missed something. I just thought the dialogue was terrible. Blair Witch, as I recall, had better dialog, not any deeper, but not so many howlers and completely ludricous situations.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 11:38 am:   

For a primer on how to do low-budget horror, try MY LITTLE EYE, which didn't need much more than a big empty house and some cheap computer graphics.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 12:16 pm:   

There's a lot of good low budget horror out there. Altered is not one.

And yeah, Marc. everybody slips. I like all kindsa gross shit.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 12:53 pm:   

Yeah, COOKERS is another one I know you like.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 01:01 pm:   

Cooker, White of the Eye, Larry Fessenden's films, et al -- I hear the bew Fessenden, The Last Winter, is terrific.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 01:04 pm:   

Head Space, Head Trauma, the original Night of the Living Dead.

I'm gonnna start keeping a list of fave films of the year.

So far it's Jindabyne and Still Life.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 04:24 pm:   

good news! One of the best Russian movies of the last ten years, Brother, is out on DVD and available thru Diabolik. This is a tough little mafiya flick about a vet of Russia's Afghan adventure returning home and going to stay with his brother in St Pete. Really solid crime flick with a great lead performance.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 08:32 pm:   

And Netflix has it. Score!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 08:39 pm:   

they do? Fuck, I bought it. Oh, well. I think I'm gonna probably watch it at least a couple of times. It had a budget of about $8.99, but it's really solid, Biggest grossing Russian film of 1997. They made Brother 2, but it never came out over here.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 09:14 pm:   

I'm pretty impressed by Netflix's selection of all but the really obscure stuff. I have enough books and videos on my shelves...I try not to actually buy something unless it's a fetish object (such as the Forbidden Planet restored anniversary collector's edition) or something I'll watch a few more times, so Netflix is good for me. I hardly have time to watch anything once.

Speaking of good Russian films, I'm getting an itch to watch The Return again.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 09:15 pm:   

Samaritan Girl came in today...maybe after the kids go to bed I'll give it a look.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 09:20 pm:   

Samaria, right? Yeah, that's pretty cool. And yeah, Netflix has gotten a lot better.

Youre a lot more organized than me...I just have piles and tumbled stacks.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 09:35 pm:   

The Return...Still liners in my head. I'm good to watch it again, too. And I've watched it through three times, and probably another time in sections.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 05:25 pm:   

My God! I just saw Roadhouse 2.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 05:54 pm:   

I saw that Spike was playing Roadhouse 2, but I couldn't bring myself to watch it. What's the point in a Roadhouse sequel that's been edited for television?
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 07:08 pm:   

It was still pretty funny. Lines like, Stab me once? Shame on me. Stab me twice...."
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 10:44 am:   

Have you seen the remix things where the former MST3K guys have put together new commentary/soundtracks for classic movies? Roadhouse is one of them, and supposedly it's great. I haven't tried it myself yet. Sorta like the guys who replaced the entire soundtrack for Harry Potter with a guerrilla track of their own, which I've also heard is awesome.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:04 am:   

No, are they on Amazon? Guess I can check. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:08 am:   

Nope
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:16 am:   

You need to download an MP3 commentary track from rifftrax.com, then listen to that while watching the movie. I've watched their take on The Phantom Menace. It made the film marginally more bearable, but it's hard to do something with a movie that bad. Some of the jokes were darker than what they could get away with on TV.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:30 am:   

Well. that lets me out, then. I haven't figured out downloading. I am techno-idiot. It's just as well. I have enough real movies to watch
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 01:54 pm:   

i saw THE FOUNTAIN last night, which i know folk all saw months ago, but we're sometimes slow here in aus. i thought it was interesting--and up until the last fifteen minutes, where aaronofsky tried to pull the three narratives together, i was with it.

from memory, i think the graphic novel had a different end--one more solid. i'll double check in a bit.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 02:05 pm:   

actually, no, it's the same end. i just think it was more successful in the graphic novel.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 02:10 pm:   

Until the light show, you mean. I don't know, I just was sad when I was watching it. Lack of characterization seemed its biggest flaw--there was nothing to hang the movie on except a dying saint and a guy who was in grief the whole time. I didn't think there was an honest moment when death was confronted in the movie, It was kinda okay, but then so is a bland meal and muzak...
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 02:30 pm:   

yeah, the light show.

i didn't have a problem with the characterisation--the whole in grief thing didn't bother me, and i was fine with the sort of one dimensional side of it. i didn't think that the death of the wife was convincing, but i kinda got what he was trying with the whole death as an act of creation, so i let it go, even if that lack--as you say--of honesty in death does undermine his idea in the end. but hey, different tastes and all...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 02:34 pm:   

I never was with the movie. All the conquistador shit at the front made me sleepy. I like Aaronofsky, but this was a career misstep, IMO...
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PM
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 02:56 pm:   

"I am techno-idiot."

My urgent prayerstyle is that this will change...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 02:59 pm:   

It won't...
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PM
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 03:02 pm:   

It just takes the right person with the right words...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 03:04 pm:   

I don't know...scared....
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PM
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 03:09 pm:   

Fear is the mindkiller!
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 03:24 pm:   

I should explain what I mean by a career misstep. Aaronofsky still has not made an A picture, though he's been attached to several. He's now married to a member of the Hollywood establishment, and the pressure will be on him to have a hit -- you can bet on it. Now that the Fountain turned into a spritz at the box office, he can go back to indie film, which he won't do, or he can make a big picture. The failure of the fountain means he'll have to pull a Peter Weir and sell the fuck out, retaining a bare whisper of his style, in order to assure himself a career. Because, as I said, he really doesn't have a track record. And now, with Rachel standing hip to hip with him, saying OK we did the goofy movie, now let's maks some money...So I expect the next Aaronofsky not to be anything special and I hope he keeps his hands off of Flicker.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 03:25 pm:   

I thought Bette Midler was the mindkiller...
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PM
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 03:26 pm:   

Hopefully his future work won't diminish my appreciation for Pi.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 10:42 pm:   

Happened to catch a Masterpiece Theater production of Philip Pullman's THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE tonight. Some good Victorian atmosphere, incredibly nasty villainness, but very rushed. It was almost funny the way the bodies piled up with very little reaction from those concerned.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 10:52 pm:   

that's interesting. i see what you mean about an A picture--i suspect you might be right about him going out and selling out--in many ways, the three films he has done kind of hint at someone who doesn't quite know what he wants to make, either. by that i mean that he has some ability and vision, but there's nothing in the three to suggest he's found how he wants to direct that vision. they're all a bit scattered and over the plan, much like how he attaches himself to various products.

though, who knows. i could be talking outta my ass. but if he ends up like christopher nolan, doing batman films and the such, i wouldn't be surprised.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 03:53 am:   

Mark, I guess the studios have Pullman poised to be the next Tolkien with his trilogy...That's the word, anyway.

Ben, yeah, his history of being a promsicuous developer, being attached to this and that and this, shows an indecisive cast of mind. I think he's going the Batman route, eventually. He was attached to Batman Begins before Nolan, so he's not above it.
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PM
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:30 am:   

"I thought Bette Midler was the mindkiller..."

She's good for a smile :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:51 am:   

No, actually Bette Midler is the mankiller. Easy mistake to make.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:54 am:   

My boss just sent me an email about Road House 2. Am I the only one who missed it? I still haven't watched my 20th anniversary Road House with the Kevin Smith commentary track yet.

Still, an American classic.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 07:04 am:   

Jake Busey is every bit the equal of what's his name and Richard Norton, though no Ben Gazzara, fightes better.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 07:54 am:   

May the Busey dynasty live on!

Pullman in his books can also be somewhat rushed and slapdash, in spite of the elegant overlay, so I guess it seemed appropriate in the show. He wrote one really terrifying novella for kids: Clockwork. I doubt it would survive the transition to film. I really doubt The Golden Compass is going to be any good, and by the time they get to the third and weakest book of the three--well, that one went crashing out-of-control through its disappointing conclusion(s), so maybe the film could end up being better than the book.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 08:05 am:   

I've never read him -- actually I read one airport book, something about the abominable snowman which wasn't good. But I've heard the trilogy is his best.

I think Jake peaked in Starship Troopers.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 08:18 am:   

Speaking of the Busey dynasty, I had a chance to patch a hole in my film viewing history on Sat. and see THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY on VH-1 Classic. Not a great film, but one of the few rock and roll movies where the music was actually credible. Gary Busey, Charlie Martin Smith and the drummer guy may not have played their own instruments (did they?), but the music on the soundtrack sounded like it was made by three guys who rehearsed in a garage. It wasn't overdubbed and padded to sound like a twelve-piece band like in most fake-sounding rock movies.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 10:55 am:   

Gary Busey can make a bad movie interesting, for sure, but it's hard to tell what he'd do if a great role ever came his way.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 11:15 am:   

If only his and Keanu's roles had been reversed in POINT BREAK.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 11:23 am:   

Yeah, Dave --and if his and Hoffman's roles had been reversed in Straight Time, he might have been a huge star.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 03:13 pm:   

Anyone here gonna see Ghost Rider? It's pretty tempting... :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 04:34 pm:   

Rather than see Ghost Rider, I'm just going to go watch more shots of Nick Cage in a bear suit.

There's one tour de force sequence in the third Pullman Dark Materials book...basically a Miltonian journey through death. That part is strong. But the rest of it falls apart. I loved the first book, the second was a step downward with one very cool device (the knife itself), and the third just felt broken. There's an entire suspense sequence with a monk assassin that just peters out and basically ends offstage. Blah.

I hated the Narnia movie. Friends of mine who liked it either hadn't read the books at all, or had no attachment to them. I've read the Narnia books quite a few times, on my own and more recently out loud to my kids, and I find Lewis's visionary strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.

I read the Space Trilogy last year and found the same power in those. He's equalled or bested any writer I can think of in creating a sense of what it might be like to encounter a completely alien environment--Characters encountering worlds that completely overwhelm their perceptions, and slowly emerge into new but recognizable patterns. It's writing I have to admire. And it's a reliable technical trick for Lewis, because he does it in Perelandra and Out of the Silent Planet. He does it again, sort of, with the character of Merlin in That Hideous Strength, who is not like any other version of Merlin in literature--he's like a terrifying ancient beast. Lewis is a strong visionary writer, whatever one makes of him as a "Christian apologist." But the stuff that's good in his books doesn't lend itself well to film. A lot of Narnia is images from classic Western mythology...visually not terribly interesting, in that we're already saturated in it. The most potent images in the Narnia books are more original inventions--the Wood Between the World, the doomed world of Charn, the strange island places far from fairly restrictive terrain of Narnia proper, with its boring fauns.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 05:37 pm:   

Nick in a bear suit is always a hit, but Nick with a firey skull could be better....

Like I said, I read the Narnia books when I was a kid. MY dad told me they were great, that I must like them. Now, I don't know...Maybe if someone read them to me though... :-)

Yeah, I looked teh Messengers upon IMDB month ago, saw the word Pang, and said nah. I'm kinda interested in The Number 23. I know it's gonna be crap, but the concept is intriguing and that's more than most Hwood movies.
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PM
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 05:43 pm:   

Ghost Rider? I'd much rather take Easy Rider for another spin...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 05:49 pm:   

Well, easy rider is a pretty good movie.
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PM
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 05:54 pm:   

Yep.

My guess is that Ghost Rider may have a few good looking CGI/action moments but is going to be about as enjoyable as the smell of burnt rubber.
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Huw
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:07 pm:   

I wonder if Nic will still be able to do those "affrighted horse" expressions with the fiery skull look.

I, too, hated the Narnia movie.
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PM
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:10 pm:   

I wonder if Nic will still be able to do those "affrighted horse" expressions with the fiery skull look.

Would ILM even bother?

It's funny though to think of poor CGI folk struggling to imitate THOSE expressions.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:17 pm:   

If it's lucky, Ghost Rider will be an entertaining bad movie. Far more likely, it will just be bad. The next Hollywood film that intrigues me is 23, and I suspect it will be bad...it is by Joel Schumacher.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 06:25 pm:   

Duh! The question is, will it be bad enough to be funny.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 07:16 pm:   

i saw the narnia flick. it was pretty bad, alright.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 07:19 pm:   

Pretty bad is treating it kindly. They will say of it, it was the Ghost Rider of faun movies. :-)
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PM
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 07:43 pm:   

Well at least your review will be entertaining. That may be the only worthwhile thing to arise from the entire fucking enterprise.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 07:49 pm:   

I may well review it. I'll let you know.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 08:52 pm:   

GHOST RIDER might be, er, amusing... heh. i'm kinda interested in seeing it, but i've yet to know if it'll hit my Will Pay 15 Dollars thing. movie tickets are just ridiculous here.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:04 pm:   

I think I'm going to go -- then, later that evening, I'm going too stick pins in my eyes. :-)

!5 AUS dollars is about the same as the States. It's 7 bucks US for a matinee.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:08 pm:   

Isn't the guy who directed Ghost Rider the same one who did Daredevil? That pretty much buries it for me.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:10 pm:   

your blindness will be for us, man :-)

the thing that annoys me about cinemas is they're just ripping people off with prices like this. distributors are partly to blame for the ticket price--i used to work in a cinema, so i know they've not full control. but prices like this are what're driving people away--especially whent he product is never going to live up to the cost. anyhow, rant rant rant, you know?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:17 pm:   

I think so Nathan. That's what makes it a poss for me. Cage plus the director plus a cpmic book as irrelevant as GR...It could be the perfect storm. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:20 pm:   

It's not all the distributors -- its the studios taking a larger and larger bite of ticket prices, so that sometime the theaters have to make their money off concessions. That's why it cost 4.50 for a medium coke....
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:22 pm:   

yeah, it's all bad in cinema land. it's a shame, too, cause i do like theatres.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:27 pm:   

Me, too...though because of the quality of the films the theaters show, I watch more and more DVDs...
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:36 pm:   

yeah, i'm the same. maybe i'll start taking up musicals ;)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 09:43 pm:   

The Global Warming Musical...

"...feels like my temperature's rising..."
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 01:34 am:   

"Toastier times yet on the horizon"
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 03:45 am:   

"The rain in spain falls maninly in the troposphere..."
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 06:50 am:   

"Our leaders seem to have all gone fishin'
They go white at the blight of greenhouse emissions"
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 07:05 am:   

Okay, let's stop this, because it's not really funny. I shouldn't have started it.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 08:06 am:   

BTTOM!

Just noticed that Wal*mart (dig that fuckin' asterisk) is now offering their own movie download store. What's doubly intriguing about it is how they whined about Apple having a video download store (and supposedly deterred other studios from joining up with Apple) and here they are with their own. Yeah Wal*Mart has the other studios in their pocket.

http://mediadownloads.walmart.com

Firefox (version 2) isn't even able to render the page properly. But Internet Explorer was able to do so...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 08:21 am:   

I have safari and firefox, so...
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 08:27 am:   

Also this store only supports Windows XP and Vista. This is due to using Windows Media Player 10 (and its DRM).

More ironic is that Apples iTunes (music and video store) will support Windows and the Mac. And all the other music/video stores only support Windows...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 08:29 pm:   

Has anyone seen the Reflecting Skin, an arthouse horror movie starring Viggo Mortensen? Good. No good. Ennh?
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 11:13 pm:   

I saw Reflecting Skin when it first came out on video, so, early 90s. I didn't even remember it until I looked at the cover art, and I don't have strong feelings one way or another. I seem to recall it was moody...and certainly not awful.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 02:12 am:   

I just wondered. There's a DVD out for 40 some bucks, and I couldn't figure why it was so expensive...I guess the amswer is, No reasom.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 07:47 am:   

Unless it's a Criterion edition with miles of added extras, that makes little sense. Now I remember more about the movie: Lots of shots of fields of wheat. $40 worth?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 07:57 am:   

It's an import disc, Region 2, and the extras don't sound that great. I'm going to pass.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 08:04 am:   

If nobody saw it, and nobody heard of it, it must be a "recently rediscovered lost classic," easily worth $40!!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 08:10 am:   

No, it's been a geek item for a number of years. There was a cheaper DVD out a few years ago, but I read some desultory reviews and passed. It's probably okay, but nothing to shout about.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 09:19 am:   

I saw a grainy videotape of Reflecting Skin about five years ago. Remember thinking it creepy and enjoying it overall, but definitely not worth coughing up $40.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 09:20 am:   

Unless, of course, it got the Dust Devil quality package (but even that only runs you $20).
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 09:23 am:   

It's listed on Diabolik, so you can look at it. I don't recall it being as cool as DUst Devil.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:11 am:   

Some of those Region 2 discs on Diabolik are expensive, for some reason.
Lucius, have you seen Abducted? Not even sure if it's out yet. One of the co-writers on it is Richard (Dust Devil, Hardware) Stanley. He also has his own movie called Bones of the Earth due in 2008, supposedly, that sounds pretty cool. Who knows if it'll ever get finished.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:18 am:   

No, I haven't heard about Abducted. I wonder if it'll be better than Altered. :-) I knew about Bones. Let's hope he finishes it. Stanley's an interesting guy.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:40 am:   

I know you're waiting for the deluxe HD DTS 5 disc special collector's edition of Altered.:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:45 am:   

I totally am. The director's commnentary should be a hoot. ;)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:40 am:   

Isn't it about time for a 20th Anniv. re-issue of HELLRAISER?

I mean, it has had seven sequels after all...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:47 am:   

Oh, yeah. Let's have that, shall we. As I have often stated, I don't get the preoccupation with what is not a very good filmm at all.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:50 am:   

Wasn't Barker doing a remake of Hellraiser?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:55 am:   

Ack!
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 12:02 pm:   

I would like to see a bonus feature called "Pinhead Speaks" where we get to see what Doug Bradley and the rest of the Cenobites look like without makeup, and hear their musings on 20 years of playing those creeps.

I wouldn't say I'm preoccupied with it; I just think it was a small peak of imagination in a valley of typically humdrum and samey horror movies. It would have been good if not for the ending.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 12:10 pm:   

I just couldn't get past all the art school BS. My bad, probably.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 12:27 pm:   

I was pretty fascinated by some of the ideas with the Cenobites, although they were more explicit in the novella "The Hellbound Heart." Let's say that one of those Cenobites wanted some lovin'. But the execution and the acting are pretty awful, but I tend to be more forgiving of these sorts of things in the horror genre or at least I was when I first saw it.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   

Barker is scripting a remake of Hellraiser but not directing it.

Also, his next novel, a Pinhead versus Harry D'amour (Bakula from Lord of Illusions) story, is supposed to include the death of Pinhead. Barker was my Tolkien, so it's hard for me to judge his work objectively. I loved Hellraiser when I first saw it, and still do today. Its bad acting, somehow, endears me more to it. Though, I think Clare Higgins' performance is particularly strong.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 12:50 pm:   

I'm mixing in some of the Books of Blood stories in with my other reading lately, they're quite good. He lost me with Imagica mostly because I grew weary of titanic novels. Has he written anything other than the novella and the upcoming novel in the HR "universe?"
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 12:53 pm:   

Nope.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 01:05 pm:   

Like B of B and the Damnation Game...After that, phooey.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 01:48 pm:   

I liked Imajica and Galilee but they could've used a way tougher editor. Coldheart Canyon, Sacrament and the Books of the Art would've made better novellas. Couldn't get into Abarat but I'm definitely not Barker's target audience for that series.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 07:43 pm:   

Watched Anatomie, kind of a standard medical thriller whose best feature was the presence of Franke Potente. Which is why I watched. Sort of atmospheric, sort of predictable. C-, but lots of Potenta. Cool dead people sculptures. Some okay German detail.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:07 pm:   

Yeah, Anatomy was worth watching, nothing great though. I agree about Barker. I liked Books of Blood and Damnation Game too, then after that it was all 700 page "epics" which were about 500 pages too long, and I couldn't stomach it anymore. I'd never pick up another Barker book.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:28 pm:   

Yeah, I'm with ya on Barker. I've met Clive a few times, and he's a nice guy. But I got sick a long time ago of the humans-going-thru-a-transformation-as-a-metaphor-for- gayness thing. It's tiresome. IMO (sorry Bruce) Imagica was just gruesomely bad, and it'll take a lot to get me to pick up Barker again.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:38 pm:   

So, I'm watching Lost, probably for the last time ever, and they've already added one new character and spent most of the first half hour in flashbacks...and now this guy's being tortured by a bad art movie while wearing retro specs. The retro aspect of Lost is just about the only thing I like about it.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:27 pm:   

Yeah, the Clockwork Orange RaveSpex slideshow thing was impossibly lame--a step back from technology available in The Prisoner. It's just an action/adventure series now. I like that guy Tom though. I think he's my favorite character. The ex-husband wrap up was predictable. Where did I see that same exact scene involving the bus recently? It's on the tip of my tongue. Reminded me of something at the end of One Night at McCool's.

Here's a completely new train of thought. I was playing a game yesterday with some really bad voice acting that reminded me of Bob Goldthwait, so I checked IMDB to make sure it wasn't him. Which made me wonder what he's been up to. I mean...Shakes the Clown is a classic, whatever else you can say about him. I guess he wrote and directed this movie called "Safe" aka "Sleeping Dogs Lie." Shakes was funny, so I'm troubled by the thought that this new Goldthwait movie might actually be entertaining. You know...maybe not Altered entertaining, but still...

I'm afraid I didn't even care for Damnation Game; for me, the sinking feeling started then. The first three Books of Blood were incredibly good, from "Midnight Meat Train" to "Human Remains," just amazing. But after that...what happened? It reminded me of Elvis Costello's comment about music: "You've got 19 years to make your first album and 9 months to make your second." He kept going and going, even though each book contained less and less. If someone forced him to turn his bloated novels back into the novelettes they ought to be, maybe I'd be interested in Barker again. I picked up Coldwater Canyon and gave that a shot...ludicrous. I admire his energy, I guess. The art, the nonstop Barker industry. He took a lot of credit for contributing little more than his name to one of my favorite computer games, Undying. I responded to some of the imagery in Hellraiser, but the films after that just seemed leaden. I think of him as inhabiting the same space as Anne Rice at this point.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 03:34 am:   

The fucking movie they were showing him in Lost wasn't as harrowing as Kowanasquatsi. In the action stuff, we're getting to the point where you've got to wonder who taught the bad guys how to shoot...Hellen Keller? I know what you mean about hubby-hit-by-the-bus -- that seemed very familiar.

Shakes was a trip. Even Robin Williams was funny in that one. Certainly a memorable opening shot, too. Stay (not Safe) sounds promising. It was nominated for the Grand Jury award at Sundance and apparently the opening scene has the lead actress giving a dog a blowjob (eat your heart out, Vinent Gallo).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 03:38 am:   

Re: Barker. Hollywood was calling early on and that's why he lost focus on writing. I met him in NYC pre the release of Books of Blood and he was already involved with them.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 05:33 am:   

Getting hit by a bus...Mean Girls? Final Destination? Both had the same thing.

Lost has really lost their touch with flashbacks. At first, the flashbacks provided reasons why people were on the plane and some back story that helped define them as characters. Somewhere along the way, it became formula - they had to spend half of each episode in flashback. They stopped telling interesting stories and are just filler.

I don't mind it being just an action/adventure series, I've always felt that's what it was...it was just more interesting before. They haven't lost me quite yet, but each episode lowers my expectations for the next. However, there's not much else on TV that is interesting.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 07:13 am:   

I just want to make sure I'm not missing something.

People talk about SID AND NANCY like it's a worthy entry to the canon. I saw it again recently and had my opinion reaffirmed that it is unrelentingly, embarrasingly bad. Almost nothing about it is salvageable. Anybody with me here?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 07:27 am:   

Yeah, Mean Girls....

Like I really don't need tp know that much about the Blond Woman, another Famous Scientiss...and I feel that somehow the husband is going to show up again, because he's too famous an actor (Homicide, etc) just to do a one-shot...

Dave, are you talking about the ALex Cox canon. There are Cox movies I prefer (Repo Man, Highyway Patrolman, etc), but I like Syd and Nancy fine.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 07:42 am:   

I enjoyed REPO MAN. That's the only other Alex Cox movie I've seen. I mean, people talk about S&N in discussions of serious cinema and it drives me goofy. I mean, I like Gary Oldman and all that, but his Sid is awful, Chloe Webb is unspeakable, and his use of "Rockhead," some guy with a Brooklyn accent and a Brian May haircut, to stand in for the Heartbreakers/Ramones, is so weird and off that it makes me want to pound my head against the wall.

Yet, everyone I know seems to like this movie. I must need treatment of some kind.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 07:50 am:   

It's comic movie, Dave. A punk fairytale. It's not supposed to be real. Maybe you're taking it too seriously, looking for a serious biography. Cox fucks with people expectations. Like I was upset with Walker for a while, but then I relaxed and started appreciate it for what it was,a surrel comedy about Central America with a great soundtrack (Joe Strummer).
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 07:54 am:   

I don't know. To me S&N wasn't dramatic enough to be a drama, wasn't funny enough to be a comedy. Maybe I'm being too rough on it. Always wanted to see WALKER, but never found it.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 07:58 am:   

I don't know, I thought there were some pretty freaking hilarious moments...like the hotel fire, the performance of my way, etc.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 02:05 pm:   

There was an Underground release associated with the series called Kumquaatsi...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 02:22 pm:   

Brother and Tokyo Trash Baby arrive in the mail! Also Brother 2.... :-)
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 11:36 pm:   

Did anyone mention Cave of the Yellow Dog here recently? I saw it in town yesterday and felt sure I'd heard of it before. Anyway, I bought it - it was cheap(ish) and looks pretty interesting. I picked up Grizzly Man too - anyone seen that?
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 12:14 am:   

Grizzly Man is great.

I just saw two Tomas Milian films, Django Kill in English and Il Giustiziere sfida la città in Italian. I am not sure what the English title of this is.

Neither were the best for Milian, but I consider anything he was in worth seeing. I think the Django Kill would have been better in Italian, because the English voices sucked. Unfortunately the only Italian version I could locate was cut - which is strange since in the English version all the more gorey scense reverted to the Italian.

I am about to go on an Italian crime flick binge, as I have about 30 films lined up. I can excuse myself by claiming it is research for a story I am writing (which it really is)...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:37 am:   

I didn't see Yellow Dog yet, I was interested though. Grizzly Man was good. There was a lot of discussion about it in one of the other movie threads.

The only thing I've seen recently is Layer Cake. It was a decent crime drama, although the criminal who wants to get out is so overdone.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 06:17 am:   

Haven't seen yellow dog, yet. I've heard its anthropologically correct, but pretty slight. The movie I'm interested in seeing in Abuction: the Megumi Yokota Story, which is about a woman who disappeared for 19 years in North Korea and is supposed to document some of the weirder Kim il Jongisms.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 06:49 am:   

I thought Grizzly Man was surprisingly gripping and profound. Herzog tees up some serious issues about man's relationship to nature. The homemade video footage is pretty incredible.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 07:27 am:   

With GM, I couldn't get past what a nutjob the guy was....

Highly recommended is the Situation, the first movie to confront the Iraqui conflict directly--a thriller and a sort of love story, it's set in the midst of the CIA ops and Iraqui police and journalists and involves mysteries opening into larger mysteries like a series of Chinese boxes. Directed by Phillip Hass (Angels and Insects, the Music of Chance), the film starts with a actual incident--a group of American soldiers detain two teenage Iraquis out after curfew and throw them into the Tigris, where one drowns. This is a really fine movie about an incredibly complex situation that the Situation manages to evoke. I got up early to watch the screener and I could go on and on, but have to work. An important document that everyone should see, but apparently few will. If it comes to your town, try and catch it.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 11:50 am:   

Brendan, have you seen Milano Calibro Nine? It's not Thomas Milan, but it's among the best Italian Crime Flicks...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 12:04 pm:   

Have we already discussed DOWNFALL here? I just saw it on TV a few weeks ago again and was floored once more. What an intense and arresting movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 12:30 pm:   

yeah, it's been talked about --

Dave, check the papers, will ya, and see if the Situation is playing in the Washington DC area?

I'm curious...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 01:50 pm:   

Yup, it's at E Street Cinemas, DC's lone arthouse.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 02:05 pm:   

you should see it, man...
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 02:22 pm:   

Lucius - Yes, I love that movie, and, for that matter most of Fernando de Leo's films. There is another one called "Il Boss" that is almost of the same quality.

A few other's of this genre that are what I would consider to be must-sees:

Cani Arrabiati
Banditi a Milano
Milano odia, la polizia non può sparare

I think actually all 3 of these might take place in Milan. I live near there so it is always fun to see these films as I know the locations.

Banditi a Milano stars Gian Maria Volontè who was in a few of those Sergio Leone westerns....A really cool actor.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 02:29 pm:   

Volante...el Indio!
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:08 pm:   

I'll try to check it out next week. This wknd I am committed to seeing "Factory Girl" with friends from the office.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:11 pm:   

Saying Volante was in a few Sergio Leone westerns is like saying Brando made a gangster picture. He was iconic!

"When a man with a peestol meets a man with a rifle...the man with the peestol is a dead man..."

The coolest film villain I can think of.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:20 pm:   

Don't let it slide tii next weekend, becuase it;s not doing any business...but it's really good.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 07:54 pm:   

Watched Brother. What a great little low budget movie. the opening -- A soldier, just back from Aghanistan,is sleeping in the countryside. When he wakes he stumbles on to a movie shoot, attracted by a song that's playing. He ruins the shot. The director calls for security. Next scene he's in a rural police station for half-killing the security man. The cop learns he was in the army and offers him a job -- he says no. The movie proceeds in little short scenes, vignettes, until he gets to St Petersburg and finds his older brother, who introduces him to the criminal world. Everything in the movie feels totally authentic. Recommended bigtime.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 11:27 pm:   

Actually, for my money, Volontè's gangster in Banditi a Milano is really up there with the best of them....oiled back hair, sinister...I think he lives with his mother, etc.

For a few great non-Leone westerns of his, you might try:

Faccia a faccia

and

El Chuncho, quién sabe?

In the former he plays a school teacher who meets up with an outlaw (Milian), while in the latter he is more or less the same type as in the Leone films, but has a heart and Klaus Kinski as his brother.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 04:55 am:   

Do you know where I can order a copy of Brother? I checked Diabolik and Xploited, and all they have is a film by the same name by Beat Takeshi.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 06:06 am:   

Nathan, Diabolik sold out. There are a few copies for sale on Ebay -- you can find 'em if you type Brother (Brat) into the search engine. If you don't want to go that route, I found that the Xploited guy will order DVDs for you if you query him -- there's a place on his website where you can ask questions. It's worth the effort.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 06:46 am:   

Brendan, did Volante do any good non-westerns aside from Banditi a Milano?
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 06:59 am:   

Yes, in "Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina" he plays an ultra-sleazy newspaper editor. Definately worth checking out. Another is Il Caso Mattei (directed by the great Francesco Rosi). There are others that I want to see but haven't yet that are probably good, as this guy had real talent. One I want to see is called "Le Quattro giornate di Napoli" which also has Frank Wolff in it (of Milano Calibro 9 fame).

This afternoon I watched half of a Francesco Rosi film called Cadaveri eccellenti, which was quite good.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:09 am:   

Thanks. BTW, the only copy I can find of faccia a faccia goes for 50 bucks, and I won't pay that for a single dvd.
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PM
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:39 am:   

Re: Brother (Brat)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00006LPEK/ref=dp_olp_2/105-8728058-14108 43


Various Amazon sellers...
Though I would go with someone with a 100% rating...and if you get burned VERY SORRY!
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:51 am:   

50 bucks! Can your dvd player read European DVDs? If so you can certainly get one for less. I also would think in Spanish there would be some cheap ones. My copy is in Italian.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:54 am:   

Yeah, here is a Spanish version for 15 euros.

http://www.arcadepapel.com/ficha.php?codart=CD1979

Amazon.co.uk seems to have an English one for 6 pds.
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PM
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:56 am:   

"People talk about SID AND NANCY like it's a worthy entry to the canon. I saw it again recently and had my opinion reaffirmed that it is unrelentingly, embarrasingly bad. Almost nothing about it is salvageable. Anybody with me here?"

Can't say I enjoyed watching it the first time back in the 80s.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:57 am:   

Good, PM. Thanks. I've used 90 % sellers before. like Caiman, and never had a problem. There's one for 19 bucks from a 97% seller which should be good.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:59 am:   

Thanks, Brendan. Yep, I have an all-region player. I didn't think to look in Europe. Too early to think. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 08:12 am:   

BTW, I wanted to mention a Chinese film I saw a few weeks back. Blind Shaft, a story about Chinese miners in the north of of the country, two men who develop a scam -- they pretend that a new guy is their brother so as to get him a job in the mine and then kill him, allowing them to collect a considerable death benefit from the mineowner, whoch they spend on prostitutes. After a while, they begin to look for a second victiim. this is another unauthorized film, quite good, nd deals with some of the same thematic materials as Khang ke Jia. But it's sort of a noir-ish piece, which should appeal to folks around here.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 08:20 am:   

Ok - here I am already on my 6th cup of green tea!

The Chinese film sounds interesting. I usually like films with scams.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 08:39 am:   

Yeah, it's pretty cool. The director, LI Yang, has made only the one flick according to IMDB; I wish he'd do more.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:17 am:   

I'll see if I can get ahold of it.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 11:52 am:   

I watched Idiocracy. Pretty lame, although there were a few funny bits. Most of the humor is basically stuff out of Mad Magazine--lots of parody versions of popular brand names. The political humor is about on that level as well. But there are some clever set-ups, and occasionally the relentless stupidity is funny. There are some nice vistas of the futuristic world, but a lot of it is like low budget TV sets. It's really no worse than an average to bad dystopian comic novel. I probably would have loved this when I was a teenager.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   

That's likely the audience it was aimed at. Too bad.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 12:26 pm:   

The good news is, Office Space on comedy central tonight.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 04:38 pm:   

Today I went to Target, which was like being in a 3D virtual reality version of Idiocracy. Worryingly, I don't think I was the Luke Wilson character.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 05:14 pm:   

Did you buy Altered on DVD? That may be a clue...:-)


I wouldn't worry. You're more the Mike Judge type.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:07 pm:   

I looked at the DVD release of East of Eden and tried to feel superior.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:12 pm:   

So, although I certainly wouldn't recommend a purchase of Idiocracy, and wouldn't really bother with a rental, you might glance at it occasionally (while answering email) if it's ever on TV. There's a pretty good monster truck rally with an idiot announcer who says stuff like "We're experimenting technological differences" instead of "We're experiencing technical difficulties." I've been chuckling about that part all day. Also, a museum of history exhibit that seems to take The Great Dictator literally and shows Charlie Chaplin as Adolph Hitler. And a lawyer who got his degree at Costco. All this stuff should be funnier than it is in the movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 07:16 pm:   

There you go.

Actually, the local Wallmart is my idea of Hell. It looks like what I imagine a supermarket in Orwell's Oceania would be, and is filled with pasty, unhealthy-looking proles, folks without a dram of energy--it's all they can do to heave themselves about like beached sea lions.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, February 10, 2007 - 10:30 pm:   

Finally watched Samaria/Samaritan Girl. Really nice. It's my favorite Kim Ki-Duk so far. Shades of Hana-bi.

Man...South Korea looks like Washington State.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 06:59 am:   

I've always enjoyed the quote, "Hell is other people."
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 07:38 am:   

Samaria's not my favorite, but it's cool.


Don't even wanta say what I saw last night.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 07:59 am:   

I hope you got paid to watch it, whatever it was.

I decided not to see the new Hannibal movie, although I liked the book. Even Fangoria panned it. Supposedly it's just boring.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 08:22 am:   

Yeah, I got paid...not enough.

I find the entire concept of Hannibal Rising inane. Who gives a shit what makes a serial killer? Not me. According to fiction, it's because they had such terrible childhoods. I'm sure that's mainly true, but it's boring. What makes fictional kilers interesting is the extent to which the author dolls up their twists and turns. Lecter was interesting the first couple of passes, but no longer. My favorite sociopath is the guy in the Vanishing. He conveyed the banality of such a personality, but the director managed to make him believable in his banality and to make that banality intriguing. Lecter, on the other hand, has become a comic book character, a kind of sick hero, and I guess that's cool, but Harris has let it go on way too long....
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 11:05 am:   

There's a lot of talk that Hannibal Rising "explains" how Lecter was created. But it's more the ol' nature v. nurture argument embodied. There's stuff innate in his nature that allows him to survive the events of his youth while others fall by the wayside, quite apart from being warped by awful events.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 11:37 am:   

Well, I guess that's better. Call me old-fashioned, but I still like the Vanishing guy better than a foppish dilettante who eats people. :-)
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 12:29 pm:   

Not to harp on the same subject, but in Milano odia, la polizia non può sparare (Almost Human in English), Tomas Milian plays a sadistic killer who for me is somehow quite believable and intersting - not for his intelligence, but for his complete and total lack of morals. I.E. he hangs a few prostitutes from a chandelier and machine guns them. Most serial killer flicks though I don't find very frightening.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 12:51 pm:   

Just ordered it. You're now officially my guru as far as Italian crime flicks. ;)
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 01:02 pm:   

Cool. I hope you like it. I usually watch the Italian versions, so often have no idea what the English ones are like. It is sort of funny how so called "high-brow" films are subbed and the rest dubbed.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 01:07 pm:   

This is subtitled. I don't buy no dubs. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 05:31 pm:   

dubs be the evil.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 05:47 pm:   

not just evil, they be bad...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 05:51 pm:   

Watched (barely watched) 4th floor, standard K-horror, weird apartment building, strange girl with dak hair hanging in eyes, possessed little girl...yawn. Gonna try something else.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 10:51 pm:   

Ok, then have no fears!

Yeah, a lot of the Asian horror fair can be sort of weak. It seems like pretty much EVERY film revolves around a young girl or girls. Why not have a group of old men, with short hair, who live in the country?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 11:06 pm:   

Yup. Two I'm looking forward to are Starfish Hotel, which is about a salaryman and his memories, and Maison de Himiko, which is set in a Japanese retirement home for elderly gay men. No teensy girls with dark hair hanging in their eyes.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 01:39 am:   

Hmmm, Maison de Himiko sounds interesting.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 06:42 am:   

Yeah, it does. STarfish is interesting, too, in that it's directed by a Welshman who works exclusively inn Asian movies...
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 07:37 am:   

Have you seen it yet though? It seems to be a sort of rare film.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 07:41 am:   

No, but I'm hoping for a DVD. It got a lot of publicity in this country on the geek sites, which generally means a subtitled DVD will happen...
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 08:47 am:   

Geek sites? You mean film geeks or just geeks in general?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2007 - 08:57 am:   

Film geeks...like me. :-)

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