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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:10 pm:   

I'll start this off by saying that of all the movies I've seen in the past couple or three weeks, top position has to go to Andrea Arnold's thriller, Red Road. It's one I'll definitely watch again, and I don't know if I can say that about any of the others.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:18 pm:   

But then those who actually buy movies end up absorbing the cost...and if enough folk decide to stop paying altogether then that curtails/ends the movies altogether.

you don't actually believe that, though, do you, PM?

i'm more likely to buy something that i download, rather than something i have to pay straight out for. there's a large percent of people who download who do this--there was a study done a while back that showed that most music downloaders end up buying more music than most.

personally, i think the hysteria of downloading is mostly about large companies losing control over how product gets out. downloading is no different to dubbing tapes, video taping off the tv, or anything like that. it's just new technology, is all.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:21 pm:   

I buy the movies, most of the time, and I'm okay with downloading. People have been throwing that up for years, that it'll make the movies more expensive thing, and yet this morning I bought 5 Criterion discs for under ninety bucks, which is way cheaper than I've ever paid for Criterions.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:28 pm:   

Actually all the downloaders I know and I know many, download far more than they ever buy...and in numerous cases they don't buy at all.

I don't know very many young folk who download who have any intention of stopping their practice. All it takes over a period of years is for more generations to simply do as these young folk are doing now.

But downloading isn't the only issue.

Salaries is a big one on the other end. If it costs $30-50 million just in salaries to make a film then the clunkers really hurt. And of course films can cost much more than that.

So this drives up ticket prices and DVD prices which then helps to drive up (or so some say) piracy.

At any rate none of these are conducive to profitability and that's what continues the movie making process.
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Jay Todd Steneker
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:29 pm:   

Lucius, just out of curiosity are you planning on doing a favourite movies of the year list this year on electric story or not.

Thanks
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:32 pm:   

Lucius, it's the number of downloads. In other words if enough people stop buying movies and download them then it will be noticeable to everyone.

Say with those who buy Criterion discs. If say 50-75% stop buying then it's going to make a noticeable dent in their output. Probably put them out of business.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:39 pm:   

Jay, I don't know. Hadn't thought about it. I will think about it, however, and put up a response in this space tomorrow or the next day. I can tell you Right now the Host would be on it.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:42 pm:   

how young you talking though? if you're talking fourteen, fifteen... in the history of copying they never spent the money. when i was fifteen i never bought copies of the albums i got given. if you're talking people in their twenties and such--they most of the people i know buy. some don't--a lot of them don't buy the big hollywood stuff because, hey, you see it once, why do you want to own it? most of the friends i have who download flicks like that do it because it's so expensive to go see the movie these days, and the quality doesn't equal the cost.

but i think you might be wrong about what's driving up the prices of tickets and dvds (though the latter seem to becomign cheaper to me). it's not downloading--it's the cost of these films, and the money given to actors, and the people involved. even if you stopped downloading right today, prices would still rise, i reckon, because people demand money--how is it good business practice to pay an actor a hundred million? it's not.

copying isn't a real issue--it's been going on for so long, be it on tv, illegal bootlegs, downloads, vcr to vcr, whatever it is. there are a whole lot of other reasons why studios and record companies lose money--most of them more valid than the downloading reason they give, i find.

but that's just my opinion.
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Jay Todd Steneker
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:45 pm:   

I'd guess Jindabyne would be on it too, Probably my favourite movie of last year.

Buy the way theres been a whole bunch of good Australian movies released here in the past month or so, I watched a pretty cool indie thriller called Last Train To Freo last night and will watch more later on. I'll post my thoughts if anyone is interested.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:45 pm:   

Pm, I believe that there is a constant struggle between the corpocracy and the street. One side gains, the other side squeals, then the side that gained squeals and the other side grins.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:47 pm:   

Jay, I'm definitely interested...and Jindabyne is definitely on the list. Is "here" Austrailia?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:49 pm:   

Pm, I believe that there is a constant struggle between the corpocracy and the street. One side gains, the other side squeals, then the side that gained squeals and the other side grins.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:49 pm:   

Ben, you were probably composing your email while I listed above that salaries and money losing movies are substantial problems. I'd say at this time that they're a bigger issue than downloading.

The impact of downloads is a numbers game. The more folk who do it while at the same stop spending money on movies creates bigger and bigger losses.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:53 pm:   

"I believe that there is a constant struggle between the corpocracy and the street."

Certainly there's a struggle against the rich. In my experience, downloaders usually are unconcerned about any economic harms. They either believe that they aren't doing any and/or they're happy to stick it to the man.
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Jay Todd Steneker
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 09:59 pm:   

Yeah, I'm from Australia, Perth to be specific the most isolated city in the world :-)

I used to post here a while ago under the username JTS if you remember.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 10:00 pm:   

And the anti-downloaders don't give a shit about the poor. Round and round we go.

What's so funny about peace, love, and understanding....
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 10:05 pm:   

Right, Jay. Hi...

Anyway, let us know about the new Aussie films, huh?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 10:07 pm:   

Right, Jay. Hi...

Anyway, let us know about the new Aussie films, huh?
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 12:41 am:   

i love peace, love and understanding... but i love it best when it's on my own terms.

anyhow, PM, reckon we're on different pages with this. no hassle.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 05:32 am:   

You, on the side of the rebels, with Luke and the Wookie and Pricess Leia, and PM, on the side of Hayden Christenson... :-)
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 05:49 am:   

Sheesh Lucius!

Well at least you didn't compare me with Hayden as Dylan (FACTORY GIRL). That would really hurt :-)
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 05:59 am:   

"anyhow, PM, reckon we're on different pages with this. no hassle."

I understand that it's all part of your self-hate campaign ;)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 06:00 am:   

:-)

I'm gonna have me some fun. I get to review Next, it's official. That's the Nick Cage flick. from Dick's The Golden Man....

Fans growing, sharpening. Saliva getting thick and ropy...
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:08 am:   

Regarding downloading and how much it costs to make a movie....

Yes, they spend a lot to make films. And the more they spend the worse the films. And, lets face it DVD's are way overpriced. Personally, I have no pity on Hollywood. Most of those big budget films I wouldn't even take for free anyhow. It might cost 30 or 50 mill to make a film, bud it doesn't need to. They just need to spend more on the script and less on the actors and special effects. Give me a 100 k and I bet I could write a cool script that would only take 2 million to make into a film (modest aren't I).
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:28 am:   

I think a lot of us could write such a script. I have a couple that were close to being made, including an updating of M that I wrote for Ice Cube (the Peter Lorre role) that could have been done for nothing. But I don't see this trend toward bigger, splashier, stupider ending anytime soon. That's the way the business the way it is, and it'll take a real knockdown punch to change things.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:31 am:   

What I find most sad is they spend so much money on actors and special effects, but those just dress up the turds of scripts they work with. I suppose there's little chance of Hollywood putting more emphasis on decent scripts.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:38 am:   

No, I don't think so. Even the indie pictures have taken to working off scripts that are Hollywoodesque, like Little Miss Sunshine. Hollywood's forgotten about story and they's educated audiences to expect and even like the crap they throw on the screen.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:55 am:   

Many of my friends are impressed if a movie isn't incredibly stupid. They've come to expect movies to be dumb.

My friends are off to see 300 this weekend, while I'm much more interested in The Host, or Namesake...anything besides 300. Apparently the last Miller adaptation to film wasn't enough to have them wait until reviews come in before buying tickets.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:10 am:   

There you go.

Yeah, I'm not mcuh interested in 300 myself... though a professor of Classical Studies, who's seen it, told me that in opinion it's exactly the kind of story the Spartans would have told about it.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:15 am:   

I figure 300 will be better than TROY.

But I'm not going to completely blame Hollywood for bad movies. If folk would stop seeing them then Hollywood might catch on. As long as NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM rakes in the bucks well there will be more.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:23 am:   

As long as Hollywood keeps pushing bad films, the junkies will inject it. It's the drug business model they're using...
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:29 am:   

Well, in anycase, I think if Hollywood dies, it won'be be because of Ben watching Hara Kari :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:33 am:   

On the subject of downloading, using the music analogy, I agree that it's not dampening demand, it's just loosening the studios' stranglehold on the means of distribution.

I think downloading is a good thing because it forces the producers/distributors to reinvent themselves. The whole issue of downloading has to make consumers reassess the value they are getting for their moviegoing buck. If studios want people to go to theaters, they need to create a premium experience; no more commercials and $10 boxes of popcorn and whatnot. If studios want people to buy official DVD releases, they need to offer good extras to create incentive.

I think in the long run, we see the effects of this in "select" theater engagements and high-calibre DVD extras.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:39 am:   

But if Ben commits hara kari will Hollywood survive?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 09:40 am:   

I agree totally. And about Ben, too. :-)

The movie biz need to have its feet held to the fire, and downloading is part of that.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 10:41 am:   

As a side project, I've been trying to watch some Marilyn Monroe flicks.

Man, those pictures -- at least GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES -- were bad! I guess the Tom Ewell/Jayne Mansfield vehicle THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT was an attempt to capitalize on THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, but I actually thought it was funnier.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 10:44 am:   

The Seven Year Itch had Little Richard. That's something of a saving grace.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 12:32 pm:   

You mean THE GIRL CAN"T HELP IT had Little Richard, and, yes, I agree.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   

Oops...Yeah.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 01:31 pm:   

Lost sounds thrilling tonight: Sawyer competes in a table tennis competition tonight to get his possessions back...
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 02:52 pm:   

Well, in anycase, I think if Hollywood dies, it won'be be because of Ben watching Hara Kari

but... but that's half the reason i downloaded it. death to hollywood!

:-)

you know, part of me kind of wants to see 300, even if it'll have no spartan soldiers fucking spartan soldiers. the tragic thing is friends of mine will want to see it and we'll go to a cinema and pay cash and later walk out feeling ripped off, no doubt.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 02:55 pm:   

The Spartans would have liked it, so said the prof. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 03:34 pm:   

I just started seeing the ads for Adam Sandler's REIGN O'ER ME, which has the distinct whiff of career-defining-flop to it.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 03:35 pm:   

Shame it can't be a threeway.

Wouldn't mind watching what Mel Gibson and Tarentino would do if they each did their version of 300.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 03:36 pm:   

That's the one with D. Cheadle? It looks bad, but Sandler's flicks are all bad all the time. I don't know...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 04:15 pm:   

But most Sandler flicks are bad comedies. This looks to be a drama. I wonder if it will be as bad as Jim Carey's dramas.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 04:19 pm:   

I think it's a dramedy. Sandler did one serious movie, Punchdrunk Love, that wasn't godawful. This looks worse, admittedly, but he's got way more than enough credit under his belt to survive a disaster.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 06:32 pm:   

A dramedy may be even worse :-)

I liked Punch Drunk, although Sandler didn't stretch for it. His character was essentially the same as what he normally plays, just his violence was timed for dramatic effect. I was more impressed with him in Spanglish, since he wasn't playing the typical Sandler character.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 06:56 pm:   

Didn't see Spanglish. I only see Sandler movies in times of extreme sickness or malaise, when they happen to be on cable.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:08 pm:   

I only watch them when on cable or if somebody else rents them. Spanglish was a dramedy. It wasn't bad, but not worth going out of your way to watch it. It was mainly notable since Sandler didn't play a socially maladjusted man-child.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:24 pm:   

AS not a maladjusted 40 year old teenager? Wow. I might HAVE to rent it...kidding.

Got a new verson of Brotherhood of the Wolf and Crying Freeman, both Christophe Gans movies with Mark Dascascos...might check one out tonight.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:25 pm:   

i've seen more than my fair share from my time as a projectionist, and, y'know, they're mostly interchangable. if he hasn't died out yet, i don't think he will with this one.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:27 pm:   

Adam Sandler may never die...like Cheese Whiz. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:27 pm:   

i really dug BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. i was going to go see gans' SILENT HILL, but i heard it sucked hard, and i can't remember a film i ever liked that came out of a video game, so i just skipped.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:29 pm:   

Y'oughta check out Crying Freeman. It's based on a manga and Gans did a pretty good job of conveying the comic book feel and he had Dascascos (the Indian in Brotherhood) to play the lead.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 07:30 pm:   

It's not great, y'know, buy kinda cool.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:01 pm:   

yeah, i've been meaning to give it a look for a while. the problem is i saw the anime of CRYING FREEMAN and, y'know, it wasn't kinda good. so it slows me down.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:19 pm:   

Well, maybe you won't like this, but I really liked Dascascos as the killer...he's a great martial artist...
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:42 pm:   

i thought he was really good in BROTHERHOOD--it was a real shame when he died, i though. the other guy didn't have his charisma.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:54 pm:   

He's a brilliant fighter -- his parents played a large part in popularizing the martial arts in the US, and he traveled all over with them, performing from the age of three. The only film he fights in his own style is Drive, which is a C movie, but the fight scenes are brilliant. And he's a decent actor to boot..
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Jay Todd Steneker
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 10:05 pm:   

If anyone is interested in ordering films from Australia, Madman films a distributor of foreign as well as local films does ship to The U.S.

here is the website madman.com.au/actions/channel.do?method=view.

hope this helps.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 10:16 pm:   

THanks, Jay...
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 02:42 am:   

saw HARA KIRI tonight. that was really cool--thanks for the rec, everyone. reckon i'll blog about it tomorrow, once i've all my thoughts together on it, but i really dug it. on a simple narrative structure it was beautifully put together. about the only thing i wasn't so cool on was the fight at the end, but i can see how it fitted the theme of the film. real cool, tho. gonna check out his other films fer sure.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 05:18 am:   

I've said this before, but this film and the Human Condition, about the Japanese in Manchuria, made him terribly unpopular and caused him to be effectively blacklisted by the japanese. You couldn't get his stuff until the late seventies. So he was a man of principle as well as a tremendous artist. I admire him greatly...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 05:23 am:   

The foot didn't return on Lost, but at least there was more plot development in this episode. They found another DHARMA station, captured a guy, and learned where the Other's village was. It still wasn't very good, but at least they moved the overall plot along. I wasn't expecting that.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 05:28 am:   

I'm beginning to give up Hope on the Foot. :-)

Dharma station? Is that what they call those underground deals? Who won the ping-pong game?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 05:58 am:   

Yeah, the underground things are DHARMA stations, because they were built by the DHARMA Initiative. Although this wasn't underground, but they still blew it up at the end.

Hurley won the ping-pong game. Luckily they showed very little of the game.
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david h
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:01 am:   

Now that Wednesday is really oover now, I have to say: LOST has become such a shitty show. Last night was just bad, bad, bad. Robert, was that better than other recent episodes?

What happened to Locke? His character is a lame ass now.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:10 am:   

The ping-pong game was a matter of abiding interest here. :{

I agree, David. From what little I've seen, Locke has become absurdly weak.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:16 am:   

It was about even with recent episodes. I guess we're halfway through the season, and we've still only had one episode that was good. I'm sure next week's "surprise connection between two characters" is that Claire is Jack's sister. We already know he has an Australian sister, and that would be soap-opera-like enough for them to do.

Locke's been lame ever since Season 1 ended. We've now had 1.5 seasons of him sucking.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:22 am:   

Is Claire the blond ultra-serene woman?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:27 am:   

Claire is the one with the baby in the survivor camp.

I'm realizing that no character seems interesting after the 2nd flashback. I'm not sure if it's simply knowing more about them or that the flashbacks have sucked.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:36 am:   

Oh, okay.

I think it's because of suckage. They could have made the flashbacks interesting, but they chose, as you said, soap operish resolutions. They could have intertwinnned the characters backstories more than they have, for one thing, and set up conflicts for them to work out on the island. But the main problem is the length of the show -- it sounds more and more that by drawing it out, they're creating a stupefying game of Myst...
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david h
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:39 am:   

There were a some other things worth bitching about in this episode:

1. Previously, the writers made a point of hammering home that compasses don't work on the island, but Said and the goof troop are now following a bearing of due north USING A COMPASS.

2. Why did the writers bring back that chic that Said and Kate dragged out of the basement? Just to shoot her? Maybe we shouldn't bitch about this one though: at least she's now a resolved plotline.

3. There are cows with bells and horses. Wandering the jungle. And nobody noticed previously.

4. There was a dangerous Ukrainian soldier (named after another philosopher no less) tied up on the floor sort of semi-restrained, and Locke felt compelled to play chess.

5. Said got shot. Like with a gun and a bullet. Then, you know, got into fist fights and went exploring and shit.

6. None of the characters ask each other any questions. Ever.

7. The fucking foot did not come back.

The show makes me palpably angry now. I need to be sure not to watch it any more.

Are there any TV shows that are actually good anymore? What do you guys think of Battlestar Galactica?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:55 am:   

I don't recall them ever saying that compasses wouldn't work.

I briefly watched Battlestar. It was well done, but I just didn't care enough about it. Friends who watch it think it's going downhill.

Unfortunately, too many TV shows become trapped by their concept and end up sucking. 24 is trapped by the idea that is has to be 24 hours, and they fill in the time with crazy plot twists. Why not make it 18? Just tell a decent story without worrying that one season might be shorter.

Same with Lost - it's trapped by the idea that each episode has to be a flashback. After establishing the characters they should stop flashing back and just focus on what's happening now. It will move things along much more quickly.


House is still good, but mostly juts to watch Hugh Laurie play an entertaining asshole.

I just started watching BBC's new Robin Hood series. It's watchable, and they don't seem concerned about making it a specific length. I think it's 13 episodes, so they weren't compelled to stretch it over an entire season.

Aside from House, I think the only decent things on TV are comedies (My Name is Earl, Daily Show, South Park), or documentary style stuff (Mythbusters).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 06:56 am:   

1) they are holding the compass, but actually using a kind of Arab magic.

2) maybe...maybe not.

3) they are obviously a race of intelligent beings who adorn themselves with bells and such, and not true cows.

4) the sight of a chess board is torture to the Ukrainian military.

5) He is the mother of all Saids.

6) They know better.

7) you have no faith. The Foot's greatest quality is immanence.

I watch Galactica when it occurs to me, but I rarely am home when it's on and I have no coherent view of it. The eps I've seen seemed good, though.

I don't really think there are any good shows exept sometime on BBC America...
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david h
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 07:17 am:   

Robert - it was in the pilot I think...or one of the very first episodes: Said is holding a compass and the camera zooms in while the needle just circles and twirls. Said then proclaims (rather definitively) that compasses do not work on the island no matter where he goes.

Also, agreed about House. Unfortunately, I'm never home or free to watch TV when it's on. I download it occasionally though.

>>The Foot's greatest quality is immanence.

I admit, I stuggle to believe in The Foot. I always thought it's greatest quality was the way that it symbolized all the shows unresolved plotlines and silly hints to the (albeit immanent) big-time spooky shit on the island. Due to the fact that these hints never amount to anything substantive, I find myself in a crisis of faith regarding the Foot’s immanence. But please don’t judge me too harshly.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 07:23 am:   

"I always thought it's greatest quality was the way that it symbolized all the shows unresolved plotlines and silly hints to the (albeit immanent) big-time spooky shit on the island."

Yup.

The Foot is key to the many mysteries. I've suggested before that they will reveal that close by the Foot is an enormous butt that has been branded with the words, Suckers!
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 07:41 am:   

I think the enormous ass is either the writer, or perhaps the viewer for still watching.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 07:45 am:   

Perhaps both... ;)
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 08:18 am:   

I loved the new BSG, through season 2 I would have called it the best show on television, but this season has been incredibly inconsistent. The melodrama between Starbuck and Apollo and their significant others has been overdone to the point of pain, although after last Sunday's ep, we won't be seeing much of that.

Couldn't stay awake for Lost, but then again there are now new South Park eps on, so it's history. :-)

I've got Robin Hood to check out as well, but I'll have to find the time...
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 08:40 am:   

Wonder if BSG's quality issues come down to adding new writers. Existing writers simply are unable to crank out entire seasons.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:05 am:   

I'm not a martial arts expert, but I finally watched THE TRANSPORTER yesterday and, I must say, it was rife with "Holy Shit" moments. Lucius, as the expert, what think you of Jason Statham?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:13 am:   

He's got very good karate, and he's stronger-looking than Dascascos, but I think that Dascascos or Jeff Speakman, among Hwood martial artists, would kick his ass, Dascascos because his skills are incredible and he's so fast, and Speakman because his karate, though less spectacular, is way more efficient than Stathams'.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:20 am:   

Transporter was nice, but the sequel was really ridiculous, although not as bad as Crank. Will his next film be even more ludicrous? Wait, it's a Uwe Boll film, of course it will.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:22 am:   

Seems that the goal is to go over the top more and more each time which is no way to make a good film...and they become less and less realistic.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:22 am:   

Oh, Jesus.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 10:13 am:   

Saw a pretty interesting German film called Requiem, based on the same events in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. This was a pretty bleak, German take on it, which takes place in the 70's. It was well-acted, and had interesting use of period music, Amon Duul, and some more obsure Krautrock bands like Krokodil and Light of Darkness.
It focused on the problem as one of epilepsy, combined with small town religion, instead of the supernatural malarkey in Emily Rose. Pretty good movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 10:20 am:   

Yeah, I was think of acquiring that one. Thanks for the rec.
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david h
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 10:50 am:   

Speaking of over the top, anybody have any predictions for 300? It looks like it's aiming to go over the top of the top.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 10:52 am:   

I hate to say it, but it looks like more thinly-veiled militarist propaganda.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 10:58 am:   

I reiterate, a Classical Studies prof I know said it's the kind of movie the Spartans would have made about themselves.

I'm going to give it a pass.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 11:06 am:   

Sounds like you've no love for the Spartans :-)

I'd anticipate 300 to have kewl war scenes and if my expectations are such it will be ok.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 11:14 am:   

Considering the plot and dialog in the last Frank Miller adaptation, I don't have high hopes of this one being anything more than adolescent male fantasies with no depth.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 11:19 am:   

That sounds like Spartan fodder to me. They were so violence- and death-obsessed, and the majority of the soldiers were adolescents...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:24 pm:   

I watched a movie called The Wicked, Wicked West. It was originally called Painted Angels, but had been repackaged to look like a merry romp with Old West hookers staring Kelly McGillis and Brenda Fricker and four other actresses I'd never heard of. It was written and directed by Jon Sanders in 1998, and is his only credit listed on IMDB. I bought it for one penny used on Amazon. The surprise is, it's a tremendous movies, colder and bleaker and more authentic BY FAR than Unforgiven. The main characters are all women, and it's the story of a half-dozen prostitutes in a shithole prairie town in the late 1800s. Kelly McGillis was in her forties when this was made, and she's allowed to look her age. She plays a whore who sidelines as an abortionist to help support her son. Brenda Fricker plays the hard, venal madam. There's no plot really, just things happen. One prostitute is kicked out of the house because she can no longer attract men; another runs away to the big city; shit happens. I couldn't take my eyes off it. When I thought of Unforgiven after seeing this, I was shocked by how this film made Unforgiven look big and flashy and empty. It's a better film, in my opinion. Whether you agree or not, it's worth a look and you'll agree with this much -- it's a damn good movie. Take a chance. You can probably pick it up for pennies plus shipping.
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Jay Todd Steneker
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:35 pm:   

Sounds good, thanks for the rec.

By the way does anyone know of a book covering good Westerns, I love the genre but often have to wade through a ton of trash to get to the good stuff.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:38 pm:   

Not me. If I did I'd try to find something about this one and who the fuck is Jon Sanders? It deserves a widescreen version and won't ever get one.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 09:50 pm:   

I think there's a good book on Spaghetti Westerns that they sell on Xploited.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 10:29 pm:   

Jean-Daniel, if youre out there, have you seen Hellbenders or Keoma?
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 01:49 am:   

I'm not Jean-Daniel, but have seen Keoma, though not Hellbenders. Keoma is cool. I wouldn't call it my favourite, but it is definately a good Franco Nero piece . . . with some rather silly French singer singing in English throughout the film. But even that has its charms :-)
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Jean-Daniel Breque
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 03:51 am:   

Brendan: Whaddayamean, "silly French singers"? ;-) That's the De Angelis brothers. According to director Enzo Castellari, he gave them the notes he'd taken on the Keoma character, and they up and sang them as raw lyrics. It's a good, late entry in the genre, with Castellari's brand of lyrical filming. Nero is good, as are Woody Strode, William Berger and most of the cast. The movie as a whole is quite gritty and melodramatic
As for "The Hellbenders", I have a DVD-R bootleg, but haven't watched it yet. According to American SW fans, the new Anchor Bay DVD is poor on extras.
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Jean-Daniel Breque
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 03:55 am:   

Jay Todd: As Lucius writes, Xploited offers a three-book work about ITALIAN westerns, which is recommended (though expensive).
As for book about westerns in general, I only know French ones, sorry.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 05:29 am:   

Thanks Brendan, Jean-Daniel...

I appreciate the reviews. I guess I have to buy Hellbenders because I'm a Joseph Cotton fan...I don't much care about extras. So I'll probably get both.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 06:29 am:   

Jean-Daniel - Ok, the singers are Italian (but what's with the French accents? Did they get voice coaching from a French cabaret star?). The myth about the lyrics still strikes me as slightly suspect, because he surely wrote the script in Italian...Anyhow, the film is good, the music isn't bad...but I wouldn't call it exactly ripping either.

Tell us what you think when you see it Lucius :-)

Lucius - If you want to see Cotton in an interesting Italian role, you might want to check out Il Giustiziere sfida la citta'. He plays a mafia kingpin. It is not a great film, but there is something bizarre about the Cotton character that I can't exactly put my finger on....He looks pale and washed up. And to see the great Cotton in a low-budget Lenzi film is interesting.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 06:42 am:   

Yup, Brendan. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but my finger's itchy. :-)

I'll try to find the film you mentioned.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 06:46 am:   

Well, Keoma is sort of a must see, as it is probably the best later period SW. It is a classic, just not necessarily a great film in my opinion.
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Jean-Daniel Breque
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 07:26 am:   

Re Keoma: well, I got my info from the extras of the (excellent) French DVD. To make a long story short: Castellari only had a three-page synopsis (by Luigi Montefiori aka George Eastman, if memory serves) when shooting began, and he wrote the script as he went along, and actor Joshua Sinclair-Loffredo provided the English translation, for the movie was shot mostly in English. Sorry, but I don't have time to check now--I'm trying to translate my daily quota of pages and I'm off tomorrow for a well-deserved vacation.
Anyway, it's a must-see movie, we agree on that.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 07:57 am:   

Happy trails, Jean-Daniel!
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 08:49 am:   

Jean-Daniel - Ok, I am sure you are right then :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 10:54 am:   

Darn, The Host isn't playing in Pittsburgh this week. Maybe it will make it here in 2-3 weeks.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 11:59 am:   

I'm sure it'll get there eventually. Pburgh is too large a market gor it not to....
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 12:35 pm:   

I recall the same type of delay on Miyazaki films, A Long Engagment, and The Whale Rider. I think foreign films that aren't completely arthouse usually get here a few weeks late, but we usually get them.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   

Yup.

All things come to Pittsburgh, I hear. ;)

Watched the King again just now. William Hurt, Gael Gacia Bernal. Still a really cool movie, and a real showcase for Hurt.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 01:35 pm:   

Glad to see someone praising The King. This film went virtually unnoticed when it came time for critics' end-of-the-year lists. It's really a great overlooked film from '06 – a dark, honest, character-driven and atmospheric Southern gothic. Hurt is awesome as a misguided, though genuine Evangelical preacher.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 02:07 pm:   

I liked the king a lot. Hurt's great, but I continue to view Bernal as overrated and his attempts to speak American really distracted from the film, and that's why I'm not going to put it my list...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 04:43 pm:   

Choosing ten movies to sum up a year is a thankless task, but you asked for it. All these movies are flawed, I suppose, and my criteria for choosing them is based on how much they affected me...

...so here's the list:


Old Joy

Kelly Reichardt’s quiet, elegaic film about friendship and its limits. Will Oldham, the kid preacher in Matewan, stars.


The Death of M. Lazerescu

Cristi Puiu’s movie about a 63 year old drunk who wakes one day feeling badly, calls for an ambulance, and then enters a Kafkaesque version of hell, shunted from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital until…


The Host

Simply put, the most intelligent, depth-iest monster movie ever made.


Jindabyne

Ray Lawrence’s follows Lantana with this superb adaptation of a Carver short story, exploring themes of race and responsibility and love, featuring a searingly honest performance by Gabriel Byrne.


The Descent

Formulaic to a fault, Neil Marshall’s horror film nonetheless brushes its slimy tail against every one of our veterbrae on its way to an unforgettable finish.


Heading South

Laurence Cantet’s film gently deals with aging women tourists come to Haiti in the 70s to seek sex and affection.


Still Life

Zhang Ke Jia’s brilliant study of globalism and its effects as seen through the lens of two very different marriages.

Omkara

Visal Bhardwaj’s exquisite reworking of Othello set among gangsters in an Uttar Pradesh village.

Into The Great Silence

Philip Groning’s painstaking and ever-so-slow documentary about the cloistered life of monks. Are these men pure in spirit or simply oblivious to the world’s suffering? Groning lets you decide.

Clean

An Olivier d’Assayas film in which Maggie Cheung, playing an ex-groupie, shines brightly and travels a road from junkie loser to the beginnings of hope.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 04:54 pm:   

I had it in mind to do a Ten Worst list, but to decide between soul-shriveling crap like X Men 3 and The Devil Wears Prada is nearly impossible and way too much work.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 05:40 pm:   

I haven't seen any of those 10 yet.

You'd need to expand it to a 50 Worst list, at least. There's just so much terrible stuff out there.


Is Syriana any good? I'm about 45 minutes into watching it and I haven't found a clear storyline. It seems to be a muddled collection of people somehow involved in oil, but nothing ties it together yet and none of the performances seem interesting.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 06:03 pm:   

Nice list, Lucius. I've only seen two of the ten; of those I haven't seen, I'm most looking forward most to Old Joy and Jindabayne.

Robert, when I saw Syriana in the theater I thought it was terrible -- flat acting, maudlin conclusions (I'm thinking of Jeffrey Wright and his father), and threadbare plot connections being passed off as smart storytelling. I know it had a few supporters, though I couldn't see why.
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PM
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 06:11 pm:   

I liked Syriana because you have to pay attention. It all falls into place. Not saying it's a great film though.

I thought Guide to Recognizing Your Saints was pretty good. Some may consider it to be overwrought.

Volver was pretty good and Science of Sleep was wonderful.

Tideland was riveting. What can I say? I hug kittens :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 06:15 pm:   

Syriana's a mess, incoherent. I'd quit now, Robert, I'm not kidding. :-)

The movies that most stayed with me are Jindabyne, Still Lives, and teh documentary,,,,
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 07:06 pm:   

Science of Sleep...My God! That movie had so many ETBH moments in it, I had to look away. IMO, Tideland was an absolute mess. It had some great visuals, but Jennifer Tilley has to be stopped.
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PM
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 07:33 pm:   

I wasn't swept away by Tilley. Jordan was the star.

Would The Painted Veil make your top 20?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 07:43 pm:   

Probably, maybe not...It was good, but it was way too Merchant-Ivory.

There were just too many flicks that were more to my taste...

Going back over the year I found a lot of stuff that pretty cool, but there was some real separation between those films i picked, how they affected me, and the rest.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 08:30 pm:   

Sorry ... "ETBH"? What's that?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 08:35 pm:   

Embarassed To Be Human. :-)
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 08:54 pm:   

Ha! That's a keeper. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 08:57 pm:   

Yup. As in, that movie made me ETBH. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2007 - 11:31 pm:   

nathan, you've been away too long. that got created in the last rockstar series, i think.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 06:24 am:   

Long before that, actually. i think it was during the Gerald Ford Administrartion. :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 07:13 am:   

I waded through Syriana and it was a complete mess. I don't understand the appeal of it. However, after the first 45 minutes I watched it in the same way I watch Idol (while doing other things).

I was mildly more entertained by Poseidon, but Kurt Russel wasn't enough to make it interesting.

Out of the movies I saw from 2006, the one that stuck with me the most was Black Gold (documentary about coffee production).
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 07:21 am:   

That's the way to watch most Hollywood movies. Didn't see Poseidon. I'll have to look for the coffee movie.

Just ordered Requiem, based on JKs rec.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 07:33 am:   

Poseidon was on HBO last night, and I like Russell, so I thought I'd try it. It's exactly what I expected it to be (special effects driven crap)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 07:41 am:   

Well, what isn't these days. I like Russell, too, but I didn't think he could save this. Apparently he didn't...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 11:47 am:   

What isn't? Syriana was just crap without the special effects. :-)

I didn't think Russell could save it, but I hoped he'd at least be interesting in it, but he was completely wasted in the role.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 11:53 am:   

Syriana...cool title, though. :-)

I'm gonna watch DEATHWATCH, a Brit horror film before I go out tonight. Anyone seen it? Will I be sad?
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 02:29 pm:   

I just saw The Departed. I wish I had known before hand that it was a remake of Infernal Affairs. I might have given it a pass. Infernal Affairs was much better.

I also saw Kikujiro. Great film.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 02:37 pm:   

You didn't know? Where you been? :-) But doesn't the sight of Marty Scorsese holding up the Oscar make you feel better about shit? Yeah, it truly bites.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 02:43 pm:   

I've been in Switerland. I actually try not to know much about films before I see them so I can form my own opinion. In this case it was a bad idea. I really don't need to see a film twice, once in Chinese and once in American. It seemed like Scorsese tried to make up for the class missing from his film with random spurts of blood and struggling Boston accents.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 03:10 pm:   

Yeah, I know you're in Europe. That was facetious. IA is so much better than the Departed, it's ridiculous.

Haven't seen Breach.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 03:53 pm:   

You think I've been away too long, Ben? How's this: what the christ is a rockstar series? :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 04:22 pm:   

It's the hightlight of the summer on TV. Some dinosaur rock band, like INXS, hoping to wring a few last shekels out of the public, trots out for a reality show in which sixteen "rockers" compete for the position of their lead singer. It's fucking hilarious.
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 06:19 pm:   

your missing out, nathan. some of the others are watching american idol round here, but i can't do that show--i can only do rockstar for it's combination of desperate hopefuls and sad, old rockers trying to suck the life out of them. it's all about the tattoos and the vampirism :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 06:28 pm:   

Well, you have Australia's Next Top Model to console you... :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 06:56 pm:   

oh, god no. i can't watch any of those reality shows except for rockstar--and i think it's only the fact that my friends and you guys here watch it that keeps me going :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 07:13 pm:   

Yeah, I know we're dragging you down. If it wasn't for us, you'd be spending that hour teaching the alphabet to rabbits and empowering sex workers and stuff like that... "
:-)
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 11:56 pm:   

Damn, I gotta watch more tv.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 04:33 am:   

it's true. ever since i came to this board i've just been wasted potential.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 07:07 am:   

Wasted Potential just happens to be the name of this season's supergroup...

Yes, Nathan. More TV. Join us... :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 01:13 pm:   

Deathwatch was just bad. It was very atmospheric, trench warfare during WWI could scarcely be otherwise, and the set-up was good, but they didn't do enough with the story, opting for some sort of demon who had taken over a German trench and whose presence drove men crazy, possessed them, etc. If you've got nothing better to do, it's okay, but don't seek it out.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 03:26 pm:   

Hello Lucius.

I agree. I was going to suggest you steer clear of Deathwatch when I spotted your post last night, but I wasn't sure if I was remembering that film or The Bunker, another WWI horror that came out at around the same time (only with Germans). If memory serves the best thing about Deathwatch was the look of the film; all that grim, relentless mud and sludge was pretty convincing. The Bunker just had a lot of freaked out German soldiers running around gloomy corridors. There may have been more to it than that, but clearly not enough to have left much of an impression.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 03:41 pm:   

Hey, Alan....

someone should do a good horror film set in that millieu, because it sort of cries out to be done, but now that the bunker and deathwatch have been done, I wonder if a good film will be made. There might not be the necessary money, what with those two dogs...
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 03:55 pm:   

Maybe an adaptation of a decent WWI horror story or novel? There are Machen's short stories, Dan Simmon's novella from the Lovedeath collecion (the title escapes me), or maybe the Tim Lebbon/Simon Clarke collaboration from a year or two back. Though I'm not really sure how well any of those lend themselves to adaptation. Or, for that matter, whether it's fair to sacrifice them to the Dark Gods of Hollywood.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 04:13 pm:   

The material is there, I just don't think the money is. But how much money would a WWI movie cost? Probably not much. Some indie guy maybe should take a look at it.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 04:38 pm:   

Wasn't the director of Deathwatch an indie guy? I think it was his first featue, anyway. Plus, I think it's a question of approach. You don't necessarily need to exaggerate the horrors of war - especially the Great War - with demons or whatever; any supernatural elements need to be rooted in something more concrete. And the whole 'war is hell - literally' thing is far too obvious to even contemplate. Maybe an ultra-low budget is exactly what's required; if you haven't got the money for oodles of CGI, etc., it might force you to find a more interesting way of telling the story.

Any talented but impoverished young directors reading this? Get to work...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 04:51 pm:   

I meant a talented indie guy. I think if you had a concept attracts lesser imps like a body attracts blowflies, you might have something. It's never really about concept, though, it's about narrative.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 05:17 pm:   

Indeed. Keep saying it, and maybe enough of the right people will start listening. Hey, we live in hope, right? (There are pills I can take for that, but they give me nightmares.)

Okay, it's getting late where I am, and I should probably try and get some work done. Even if it is Sunday. For another hour at least. Though the DVD of The Host arrived yesterday and I really really really want to watch it...

Have a good one.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 05:20 pm:   

Yeah, you too.
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Fernando Jimenez
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 04:58 am:   

I have just read the year's best list and have discovered with amazement that Will Oldham, who I have always thought of as a musician, has a remarkably long career as an actor. Is he good?
All of you have convinced me to go see The Host. I planned to wait for the Spanish edition of the DVD, as I try to avoid dubbed films, and that's the only way to see foreign movies in theaters if you live in Spain outside Madrid or Barcelona, but it now seems that I can't wait.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 07:27 am:   

I've only seen three of the movies he's been in, Matewan, Junebug, and Old Joy -- but he was pretty good in them. His acting's kind of low key, sort of like his music with Palace...

Hope you enjoy the Host.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 03:39 pm:   

The new Vanity Fair (Sopranos cover) has an excellent article on Sao Paulo prison gangs that talks extensively about Carandiru. It's wild stuff and well worth a look.

Anyone else a fan of "The Sarah Silverman Program"?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 04:21 pm:   

I like the ads -- does that count?

Watched coastlines, a Victor Nunez film, not as good as Ruby in Paradise or Ulee's gold, but still worthwhile for its depiction of the Florida Panhandle and for a couple of performances, including the usual solid work by Wiliam Forsythe as the Villain of the piece.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 06:25 pm:   

I've never watched Sarah's show. I didn't find her funny before the show, and I didn't think a TV show would help that.

The BBC's Robin Hood show is looking worse after the second episode. It seems more like bad adventure shows like Lost World, Beast Master, or Hercules. Not as bad as them, but not as promising as it seemed on the first episode.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 06:45 pm:   

Hello Robert.

Woeful is the kindest word I can think of describe the recent incarnation of Robin Hood. Admittedly I could only take the first three episodes, but everyone I know who managed to stick it out until the end (hell, for more than three episodes) pretty much wished they hadn't.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 06:50 pm:   

I'll keep that in mind, Alan. I'll see if I can still stand it after the third episode (next weekend).
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 07:17 pm:   

Yeah, I agree. I can't take RH.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 07:23 pm:   

It had me pining for the old series with Jason Connery. Then again, I was young and impressionable when that series was first shown, so maybe it's better left as a memory.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 07:27 pm:   

It had me pining for Richard Greene -- no one should pine for Richard Greene... :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 07:49 pm:   

Watched Requiem on JK's rec. Terrific movie. It made a few best of the year lists and I can see why. The best exorcism picture I've seen and what a job the actress, Sandra Muller, does. Awesome.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 08:09 pm:   

The recommendations for Requiem keep pilling up. I missed it in the cinema (though I think it was only on limited release) and the Region 2 DVD isn't out over here til the end of the month.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 08:14 pm:   

Sandra Muller is amazing. I really enjoyed it...
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 08:23 pm:   

Cool, I'm sold. Just checked and it's released on the 26th, for any other UK residents who're interested.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 09:02 pm:   

A warning -- if you're after FX and demons, this isn't the movie for you. This is the stripped of bullshit version of The exorcism of emily rose. With that in mind, enjoy.
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jk
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 09:27 pm:   

Yeah, I was really impressed with Sandra Muller too. I usually don't think too much of actors or notice supposedly great acting, but she really did a fantastic job.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 09:33 pm:   

She was really good. The character, the way she starts out, was a complete creation, the jaunty grin and all that...absolutely authentic. You could nearly smell her pain. And that was just in the first five minutes...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 07:19 am:   

Just to move backward in the thread for a moment, what was CARANDIRU about? The article in VF really made me want to see it. The descriptions of life inside the Brazilian prison system, and the informal "government" that sprouts there, are really fascinating.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 07:37 am:   

It was about the massacre that occured there. And it's a good movie. It depicts the life well -- doesn't get into the prison govt. much --but otherwise does a credible job of showing things. That's one reason I like foreign films -- I know what's going on here.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 07:55 am:   

The article describes how, in Brazilian prisons, the convict cellblock janitor -- the Cleaner -- is the de facto mayor of the cellblock, to whom persons with business must petition and who hands out decisions on who lives and who dies and when killings can take place.

Some Brazilian director could do a great movie called "The Cleaner" about the lives of one of these characters.

The article also describes how the major prison gang, with all kinds of support in the Sao Paulo slums, orchestrated a two-day reign of terror in the city that the police were powerless to stop. Imagine if Mereilles gets his hands on a story like that!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 08:06 am:   

Imagine if anyone does...

I'm afraid Mirrielles is gone to Hollywood.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 08:09 am:   

Though he is making a Saramago novel into a film...but I think the money behind it is US money.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 08:52 am:   

Another thought on Requiem. Even though it doesn't provide the FX and demons, it's still quite creepy and disturbing, and very sad.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 09:03 am:   

Oh, definitely. It's more disturbing than if there weere demons depicted, and way more sad.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:25 am:   

Watched Hurt's new facial growth in The King. You know that it's all going to end badly and sure enough it does.

Watched Down to the Bone. Not the worst thing I've experienced but I'm tired of this whole addiction/recovery thing...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:38 am:   

Spoiler alert. ;)

I liked Clean a lot, re the addiction-recovery thing.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:50 am:   

One day perhaps I'll watch Clean...after I recover from all the addiction/recovery movies and the never ceasing celebrity cycle.
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david h
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 02:10 pm:   

Hey, thanks for the top ten list Lucius...the only one on there that I'd heard of was the Host - which I'm seeing this weekend.

So, I'm watching the first season of Battlestar on DVD lately. It's pretty good. And not just pretty good for TV, it's pretty good.

Is the coffee movie out on DVD yet? Sounds cool.

PS - Drink fair trade coffee!
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david h
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 02:16 pm:   

By the way, can anyone here help me find these two Adam Curtis documentaries:

1. The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear

2. The Century of the Self

I've heard that they're worth atching, but I can never find them.

Thanks.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 02:28 pm:   

Download The Power of Nightmres at:

http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmaresDVD

Download The Century of the Self at:

http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=%22century%20of%20the%20self%22

Amazon has Nightmares for sale.
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david h
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 02:44 pm:   

Thanks PM. Much appreciated.

Amazon does indeed have it...but I was searching in DVDs. I didn't realize that it would be a CD in the books section.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 02:49 pm:   

At Amazon, try searching for DVDs for Adam Curtis.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 03:40 pm:   

The latest Adam Curtis doumentary just started over here on the BBC: The Trap - What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom. Absolutely brilliant. Made my poor brain hurt, but it's good pain...No idea if there are any plans to air it in the US or elsewhere, but it's definitely worth keeping an eye out for.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 06:01 pm:   

David, Black Gold isn't out on DVD yet. It's still making the arthouse theater rounds. I'd drink fair trade coffee if I actually drank coffee.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 07:06 pm:   

I watched an old friend, The Mission, an early Johnnny To film and one of my favorites -- about the dynamic of a group of bodyguards working for a powerful ganglord. There's an attempt to kill the ganglord, but the main focus of the film is the relationships among the bodyguard. I tried to talk several people into buying the rights to this, and finally one did and hired me to write the script. I wrote it. The script wound up in a desk drawer somewhere. Movie never go made. End of story. But I really liked working on it, so I got that much out the experience.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 09:35 am:   

Started watching AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH the other evening and turned it off after 20 minutes. I was bored silly. I felt like I was watching one of those old Bell Labs educational science films from the mid-70s. When they did the Matt Groening animation to explain global warming, I lost it.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 09:57 am:   

Well, most of America needs to see it, for all its simplicity.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 11:01 am:   

Interesting-sounding film. I couldn't link to this so here's a review.


Kornel Mundruczo's "Johanna" is a astonishing coup de cinema. The Hungarian film is an expressionistic opera based on the legend of Joan of Arc and composed for the screen by Zsofia Taller. Mundruczo, who wrote the screenplay with Yvette Aranyi, transfers the story to a modern-day Budapest hospital. Here the heroine cures the sick by offering her body to them sexually, a practice that outrages the medical staff, the high priests of this particular institution. As crazy as all this sounds, it works brilliantly.

The movie is a gift to film festival programmers. It certainly makes a terrific companion piece to Mark Dornford-May's "Carmen in Khayelitsha," Bizet's famed opera set in a South African township, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. "Johanna" should also command attention in art houses in North America and Europe.

Mundruczo begins the movie with what appears to be a catastrophic traffic accident in Budapest with a tumult of ambulances, emergency personnel and doctors trying to cope with badly hurt victims coming into the hospital. This turns out to be a training exercise, where locals have been hired to play patients.

One patient, Johanna (the extraordinary Orsi Toth), is a young morphine addict. She sneaks into a drug supply room and accidentally overdoses. She slips into a coma from which a handsome doctor (Zsolt Trill) miraculously brings her back from near death.

Completely recovered and reborn, Johanna's memory has been wiped clean. Since she knows of no relatives or friends, the doctor keeps her at the hospital to train as a nurse. She then discovers her unusual healing powers. (One minor problem here: We only see her heal men. How does she handle women and children?)

Doctors and nurses are infuriated. One nurse (Ildiko Cserna) calls her a whore. None is more upset that the doctor, who makes no secret of his love for Johanna.

After the opening sequences, Mundruczo confines his film to the hospital interiors, which three cinematographers shoot in garish institutional colors. The place feels like a prison run for the convenience of the staff.

The choreography of many actors and singers of all ages to the music is astonishingly precise. Taller's music is strong and muscular, bringing to the wretched hospital a powerful sense of nobility.

Toth delivers a memorable performance as Johanna, capturing the heroine's steely determination to do good and the unwavering devotion to her mission.

The film is a genuine discovery for the Festival de Cannes.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 01:40 pm:   

received an interesting movie --Tazza, a crime-comedy from Korea. Supposed to be quite good.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 02:09 pm:   

I like an inconvenient truth and found it interesting.

I just watched the last of the Lone Wolf and Cub films, which I hadn't seen before, White Heaven In Hell. Though it is made up entirely of set pieces, it still seems like one of the best.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 03:43 pm:   

yeah, i liked an INCONVENIENT TRUTH as well. i saw the south park take on it last night, however, where al gore was hunting a mythical beast just for the attention, and everyone felt sorry for him, so they let him hang round.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 04:03 pm:   

Haven't seen it...but listen, is the reason everybody hunts mythical beasts because they're trying to get attention? What other reason is there?
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 04:27 pm:   

to give them an unattainable direction in their otherwise directionless life?

the gore documentry is cool if you don't know much about global warming. there's an unfortunate thread about his personal history in it that could have been chopped out, but otherwise...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 04:37 pm:   

That's virtually the same reason, man, if you think about it. I know a fair bit about global warming, but I'll get around to AIT.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 05:02 pm:   

you reckon it's the same thing? guess they're trying to hold the attention of something, i suppose.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 05:31 pm:   

Those ego things are all the same. :-)
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 11:54 pm:   

Yes, I agrre with Lucius. I consider myself to know a fair bit about global warming too. But I learned a good bit from the film.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 05:03 am:   

Still no foot on Lost. Dull flashback where we find out that Jack's dad is Claire's dad too. At least more plot happened in this one than in previous ones, although it was all set up for the next episode.

I have to go back and watch the first Claire flashback in Season 1. I was pretty sure there was something in there about her parents not approving of her having a kid, although it may have been about her boyfriend's parents. If it was about her parents, this episode invalidated it.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 05:11 am:   

I visited a Lost message board, and my memory of the Claire flashbacks was right, she said her mom would disown her when she found out Claire was pregnant. Another part of the episode had a friend saying they hadn't told Claire's mom yet. The continuity errors begin...the compass working may have been another (or the goofy magnetism thing explained it).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:06 am:   

I didn't catch it last night, but that strikes me as proof of the fact that they don't know what's going to happen...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:15 am:   

I think they know the big picture, but make up the details as they go along. In this case, they made up details to link two characters, but didn't have anyone check continuity first (even though they set it up in Season 2 when Anna Lucia died).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:16 am:   

Watched Harsh Times, by the guy who wrote Training Day and Dark Blue....It's a good B movie, pointless, another decent pyscho performance by Christian Bale ("I'm a soldier of the apocalypse"), violent and dark, yet ridiculous
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:29 am:   

They know the big details? Maybe, but that's not really knowing the ending. Because things change on you. So you're writing a long novel. and you generally know what's going to happen, but the process of writing is organic and things change and you have to make adjustments. But these are TV writers, and they'll cling to their set ending and bolix it up by trying to make everything fit.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:50 am:   

I don't think they'll cling to the ending because it won't get that far. I'm expecting cancellation before it ends.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:54 am:   

Actually, you're right. I don't know how the ratings are, but I expect them to drop precipitously at some point...
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:12 am:   

Mornin' all. (Though actually it's afternoon for me. This time difference thing is really gonna start messing with my head if I'm not careful...)

R.e. LOST. I'm over it, to be honest. The first two series were shown on a terrestrial channel over here, and like a lot of people I put my brain in neutral and went with it. Then Sky snapped up the rights to series 3, and I don't have satellite, so I was annoyed for a while, but not for long. Life goes on.

But I recon it's all down to the polar bear.

There was a polar bear, right? I didn't just imagine that?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:37 am:   

And an enormous stone foot, the relic of an ancient statue. Absurd. I've been over it since the middle of last season, but I check in now and again to see what new absudities hold sway.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:52 am:   

Do you think they all write the weirdest thing they can think of on a slip of paper, stick them all up on a corkboard, and take turns throwing darts? Whatever gets the most hits makes it into the next episode.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:55 am:   

I really liked the first season. Season 2 was OK. There was some good stuff (like the opening episodes), but it also started the downhill trend...the flashbacks stopped being interesting, the characters became more one-dimensional (did Michael have any lines that didn't involve "They took my boy?"), and they tried too hard to link people. Season 3 has amplified those bad trends. I don't think you're missing much by not seeing it.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:59 am:   

Darts just make me think of the South Park episode about "The Family Guy." In that, manatees picked balls out and put them into a hole. Each ball had one word on it, and the combination of 3-4 balls was used as the basis for the next joke of the show.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:05 am:   

Lost wasn't too bad last night, although the "sonic defense perimeter" that could be defeated by cutting down a tree and going over one of the pylons was pretty silly. At least there seems to be some forward movement of late. South Park, on the other hand, was pretty weak last night, definitely not as good as last week's "N" word classic.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:12 am:   

Was that about the show Family Guy? Series four is airing over here at the moment and I just love it. Absurdity without pretention. A talking dog, the greatest homicidal toddler in the history of television, GWB hidding out in a tree house blubbering 'Don't make me do stuff' - what's not to love?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:18 am:   

Darn, I forgot about South Park last night.

I'm not a fan of Family Guy. It's got funny bits, but much of the humor seems too random (I've seen plenty of jokes that seem like they came from manitees picking balls).
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david h
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:22 am:   

Good god, LOST sucks ass now. I'm just embarrassed for it. I wonder if it ever had promise or if I was bamboozled.

Either way...someone should really cancel it. Put it down like a gimpy farm animal and put it out of its misery.

Best part of the episode last night: Claire telling Charlie "Desmond told me everything, Sweetie. Why didn't you just tell me that he can see that future and thinks you're going to die."

Or maybe it was when Kate climbed over The Invisible Sonic Force Field of Death using a tree limb and then walked *BACK INTO IT* to retreive the corpse of the guy Locke pushed into it for no reason.

The only way I'd be satisfied at this point is if the smoke monster kills everyone next week and the show ends.

Fuck it though. I'm promising myself never to watch it again. Every episode is an hour of my life that I'll never get back.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:22 am:   

I'm content to let the Lost fans suffer :-)

Watched Dandelion. Purty good.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:28 am:   

SOUTH PARK battling THE FAMILY GUY? That's not right. They're both great shows. They should be fighting the suck-ass shows, not each other.

Haven't watched much of season four, but the first three seasons of TFG were among the funniest in television.

"Lets drink until we can't feel feelings..."

Fall on the floor funny. Now kids, just WORK IT OUT!
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:01 am:   

With you 100% Dave. There's more than enough bad TV - hell, bad everything - to keep both shows running for another 3 billion years at least.

Robert, the random elements of Family Guy (is it called _The_ Family Guy in the US? There's no The in the UK...) are one of the reasons it works, at least for me. Never know where it'll go next. Because it's an American show there are a lot of references I don't get, but I usually find myself laughing at them anyway...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:20 am:   

I'd rather watch Family Guy than most sit-coms, but I just don't make time to watch it.


I did make time to watch The New World on HBO. I wasn't that interested. I didn't like a lot of the artistic decisions (music, montages, some of the camera work, internal dialog). It seemed like they wanted to make it hypnotic, but it didn't work for me. And something about Colin Farrell bugs me.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:29 am:   

I wasn't overwhelmed by the new world. It was better than average, but really a letdown to my expectations. Farrell...whenver I see him I'm reminded of Alexander.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:31 am:   

"...something about Colin Farrell bugs me."

Me too. Maybe it's that he doesn't really act and can barely hide his Irish accent. He's an onscreen presence, little more. I'm not quite sure how he got propped up to A-list status, since he's never done anything that's been really popular with critics or the masses (I guess Minority Report was his most successfull all-round film).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:43 am:   

Let's not forget Daredevil :-)
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:45 am:   

[insert your brogue]

Farrell seems to have struck while his iron was hot.

[end your brogue]

We should have saved him for a couple days later.

At any rate the flops will eventually knock him from the leading roles...
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:46 am:   

Let's forget Daredevil!!!!
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david h
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 09:50 am:   

I like the New World quite a lot, but not as much as Thin Red Line or Badlands. I really like Malick. But I feel like he must frequently get stuck with Hollywood actors as part of some infernal compromise. I can just see studio execs saying "Sure Terry, you can make a slow meditative movie about an Indian princess and edit it however you like, after all, all the film magazines say you're a genius. But...there's just one thing: we want you to cast Collin Farrell in the lead. Otherwise we won't fund you. Oh and that movie about that big tree that you've wanted to make for 30 some years...yeah, you can go ahead and do that next...just be sure to cast Farrell *and* Mel Gibson."

Oh well. I'd rather have a New World with Farrell than not have a Malick film.

Lucius, what was it that you disliked about New World?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:15 am:   

Too pretty by half. It veered dangerously close to being a hippie wet dream, and also came damn close to being Dances With Wolves-ish. The voiceovers, which I loved in the Thin Red Line, seemed terribly saccharine at times ("He is like a tree--he shelters me" -- lines like that, though I may be paraphrasing.) Farrell was awful, Bale not much better. The girl could have stepped out of the Disney cartoon. I got the point, the natural world being befouled by civilization, but it could have been made more succinctly, and the story was overwhelmed for me by Malick's rhapsodic view of the basic circumstance. which grew cloying. Lots of pretty pictures, but that's not the only reason I go to a Malick film. Disappointing.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:29 am:   

Dandelion has pretty pictures: outdoor scenes that would have moved Tarkovsky. (but maybe it was digitally enhanced)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:39 am:   

what's Dandelion?
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:41 am:   

David, Malick made his choice.

Don't know if the studio was pushing Farrell on him or not but Malick made the essential compromise.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:44 am:   

Dandelion is out on DVD. It's a drama by Mike Milgard.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 01:29 pm:   

Anyone watching Life on Mars season 2? Some pretty great television contrasting the 70s with the modern age. I'd be sorry to see it end after this season except with Lost and all those shows dragging on storylines forever, it's looking like a good thing...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 01:41 pm:   

Nope, Mike, haven't seen it. I'll catch it on dvd.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 01:43 pm:   

I'd bet BBC America will air it sometime this year like they did with the first season. My guess is the reason S1 hasn't come out on DVD here is for a complete series package.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 01:47 pm:   

Yeah, I suppose. One way or the other...
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 02:08 pm:   

Hi all.

Mike, I agree, Life on Mars is really excellent TV, and they're doing the right thing limiting it to only two series'. End it on a high...

...However, I've heard rumours of a possible spin-off centred around the Gene Hunt character. Not too sure about that...
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 02:19 pm:   

I love Glenister, but yeah his chemistry with Simm is so much of the show. I was amazed at the number of great lines in that last script. Then again, Simm is moving on to a much more famous and iconic British television show and apparently taking on a character that would be a major spoiler, so I don't feel so bad.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 02:28 pm:   

"Simm is moving on to a much more famous and iconic British television show..."

Is he? Which one?
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 03:40 pm:   

Doctor Who
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 03:51 pm:   

Oh, Christ! That!
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:06 pm:   

Oh, _that_ famous and iconic British television show.

Now I may be wrong here, Lucius - I'm not too hot on picking up on subtle clues and pointers - but I take it you're not enamoured of Doctor Who?
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:06 pm:   

I grew up in England as a kid during the Tom Baker era, so I'm totally irrational about that show.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:10 pm:   

I've never been able to watch it for longer than a couple of minutes. But I did meet Roland Pertwee once. He asked me for a fag, chuckled, and then said, "I suppose that's redundant." :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   

I got the Tom Baker stuff on PBS growing up. I like the new version as well.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:19 pm:   

About the only period of the show I couldn't get into was in the 80s, but then again almost everything in the 80s was bad. Love it, warty monsters and all.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:22 pm:   

I remember Peter Davies & Sylvester McCoy, so a flood of nostalgia carried me through the first series of the latest incarnation and much of the second...It's not as bad as I feared it might be, but I'm not in any hurry to go out and buy the DVDs.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 04:30 pm:   

I am, sadly, a child of the 80s, so any lingering affection for that decade's TV is to be excused. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 05:16 pm:   

Back to movies: I watched Keoma, and I got to say I didn't care much for it. Thought it was pretty cliched and badly written...and that song they kept playing. Jesus, it was terrible. But still it was kinda fun.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 05:45 pm:   

I grew up in the 80s, and thus don't have any lingering affection for 80s TV. Going back to it makes me realize how much absolute crap I watched back then...but I watch Lost now, so little has changed. However, now I realize I watch crap rather than thinking it's good. :-)
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 05:52 pm:   

Haven't seen or even heard of Keoma (did you mean Koma and go crazy with the vowels? No, never mind, haven't seen Koma either...) but on the subject of movies begnning with the letter K, I'm going to try to pick up a copy of Kwaidan tomorrow. Had a copy I taped of TV years and years ago but now it's basically unplayable, and I'm in the mood for some classic Japanese spookiness.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:07 pm:   

Robert, I wasn't even 16 when the 80s came to an end, so absolute crap was like manna from heaven to my ill-formed teenage mind. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:14 pm:   

Keoma is a sphaghetti western, not one of my faveorites...

Good choice on Kwaidan...yet another Masaki Kobayashi film.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:27 pm:   

Yeah, it's just been reissued by Eureka! as part of their Masters of Cinema series (well, 'just' as in late last year, I think). The DVD comes with a bonus booklet featuring the four Lafcadio Hearn stories the film is based on, plus an interview with Kobayashi. My memory of it is kind of murky, but I do recall the monk covered in calligraphy.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:37 pm:   

Yep. I like other of his films more, but Kwaidan's creepy and pretty...
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:57 pm:   

The Human Condition trilogy is the only other Kobayashi I'm familiar with (allbeit vaguely). Just one of the many gaps in my cinematic knowledge that I should get around to plugging one of these days.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:59 pm:   

Well, that's a pretty good one to be familiar with.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:31 pm:   

They don't seem to be available on DVD over here, and even if I could order non-region 2 copies I don't have a multi-region DVD player, so they'll have to wait...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:37 pm:   

Do they have netflix or its equivalent over there?
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:49 pm:   

Not sure, though my connection is dial up not broadband, so downloading around 9 hours of video would take - I can't even imagine. A looong time...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:10 pm:   

Netflix is a service that mails dvds to your home -- they usually have a lot of dvds that are out of print.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 08:32 pm:   

Ok. Yeah, there are UK equivalents, so that's something I can look into. You never know, I might get lucky.

For now, sleep. I'll dream of a world where only good movies make it onto DVD. Or Buddhist monks covered in calligraphy...
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 03:13 pm:   

I just saw Tokyo Fist. A waste of time. If anyone was considering seeing this film, skip it.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 03:36 pm:   

Wasn't considering it, but now surely won't....
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 04:04 pm:   

Well, for some reason Tsukamoto is considered a good director. I can't quite figure out why.
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Alan frackelton
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   

I've heard good things about a movie called Gemini (based on an Edgawara Rampo story, I think)but that's as far as my knowlegde of Tsukamoto goes. Maybe he's a good director and Tokyo Fist is just a bad film?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 04:28 pm:   

I didn't for his early stuff, Iron man et al, but I read an article somewhere that said his best stuff was Gemini and Snake of June, but you can't prove it by me.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 04:29 pm:   

I didn't care for his early stuff...

new thread

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