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Screening Log 2005 - What did you watch this week?
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Monkeypox
Cinematographer


Joined: 17 Jul 2003
Posts: 156
Location: TX

PostPosted: 07.25.2005 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you on both Wedding Crashers and Hustle and Flow.

Other than the dynamic exchanges between characters, the familiarity and intimacy that Vaughn and Wilson are able to achieve, there is also something to be said for the recognition that Vaughn is worthy and capable of having a successful relationship under his current framework. It's pretty refreshing to find in the genre. The ability to make him something MORE than just the one-dimensional funny sidekick buddy was outstanding, and a credit to those involved.

Despite some second-half slowdown, I found Wedding Crashers far more enjoyable than I anticipated.

As for Will Ferrell, I believe that the moment of his appearance was the gag, and that there wasn't much gas left in the tank when it came down to it. I would agree that someone with more subtlety would have better fit with the tone of the film. So I'll give half the fault to Ferrell for mailing it in, but, because I truly believe him capable of subtlety, the director will have to own the other half.

Hustle and Flow did very little for me.
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Danny Baldwin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 07.25.2005 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say I agree on Wedding Crashers.

Rather than being able to enjoy and admire Vaughn and Wilson in the roles, I felt bad for them, given my distate for the material. I much preferred the rather conventional thread between Wilson and Rachel McAdamds to the comedy, which only exists because the two can really work with anything.
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Jim Harper
Director


Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: 07.26.2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Well...? Well...?


I watched Dark Water. It was pretty good. I liked the colour schemes and the general atmosphere. I guess it's a bit naive of me to criticize a remake for making everything completely explicit, so I won't burble too much about that. I think I have to agree with the critics who said it was a great story but not at all scary: Salles and the scriptwriter seem to have carefully removed most of the elements likely to scare an audience, which is a litle confusing.

Not a bad film, but my brain seems to get stuck behind the 'what's the point' barrier with remakes.
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 07.27.2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll be interesting to compare it to the original. You're right, the US Dark Water isn't "scary" at all, at least not on a traditional horror movie level, but I think there's a sense of dread and paranoia (namely, the perceived malignity of the ex-husband and the teenagers) that permiates the film that I responded to and appreciated. Also, the first scene inside the flooded upstairs apartment is wonderfully surreal. I also loved Tim Roth's performance as the helpful lawyer (an uncommon character type in American movies, to be sure). I didn't even recognize him until my friend named him after the movie was over. The guy is seriously versitile.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.27.2005 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
It'll be interesting to compare it to the original. You're right, the US Dark Water isn't "scary" at all, at least not on a traditional horror movie level, but I think there's a sense of dread and paranoia (namely, the perceived malignity of the ex-husband and the teenagers) that permiates the film that I responded to and appreciated.


I agree. Like I said earlier, Salles tells a real story--ultimately, it isn't the mild scares that rattle you, it's the atmosphere and emotions that work you over. It doesn't really work as a "jump" movie, true, but that hardly seems its stated goal; rather, it's a psychological movie about parental obligations, motherly anxieties and female vulnerabilities.

the night watchman wrote:
I also loved Tim Roth's performance as the helpful lawyer (an uncommon character type in American movies, to be sure).


Roth does so much with so little... his lawyer (whose office we never see; apparently his car doubles as his workspace) is one of the most memorable supporting characters I've seen all year. I also like how Salles teasingly invites us to question his motives...

Perhaps the original is better--I'll see it eventually--but this remake is a very sturdy film.

Eric
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 07.28.2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Divine Intervention / Elia Suleiman / Palestine / 2002

There is no narrative, only isolated vignettes that express how the absence of official Palestinian society breeds frustration and animosity along the Palestine-Israel border. What?s amazing, though, is that Suleiman makes his discouraged points using comedy?this is a collection of laugh-out-loud sight gags, all told in the stone-faced, deadpan style of Jacques Tati or Buster Keaton. That?s mighty fine company, but Suleiman?s exacting, often brilliant tableaus invite such comparisons. (His timing is also impeccable, relying on long silences only to deliver bam-pow punchlines.) The movie grows increasingly surreal?before long, Israeli sharpshooters are practicing as if they were a chorus line, and a Palestinian angel wears a halo of bullets?but it never stops feeling like a passive-aggressive daydream about peace and resentment.

Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.30.2005 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kontroll (Antal, 2005) B

The Silence
(Bergman, 1963) B

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(Burton, 2005) C-

Glitter
(Hall, 2001) C-

March of the Penguins
(Jacquet, 2005) B-

Saving Face
(Wu, 2005) B-



Kontroll is stylish, enjoyable, and intermittently original, but it is also extremely self-conscious: every action gag, every wacky joke, every absurdity, seems too planned-out and culled together from everything from Tarantino to Kafka.

The Silence is uniformly good for a Bergman film, but I think it has a little less to offer than some of his other masterpieces, especially Persona and Cries and Whispers, which remain my favorites of his.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is admirably weird and continues Burton's recurring theme of tarnished fatherhood, but its comedy usually falls flat, although not as flat as the dreadful musical numbers. After about ten minutes all of this quirkiness seems vapid; even Depp's performance is bizarre for the sake of being bizarre, although I suppose you could say something about his hyperactive goofiness reflecting a grown man stuck in adolescent limbo.

Glitter sucks, but man is it enjoyable. Best line:

"Is she black? Is she white? We don't know, she's exotic. I want to see more of her breasts."
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.30.2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
bam-pow punchlines


Love this phrase.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 07.30.2005 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Glitter sucks, but man is it enjoyable. Best line:

"Is she black? Is she white? We don't know, she's exotic. I want to see more of her breasts."


I wouldn't normally ask, considering the fact that I willingly see so many laughable movies myself, but what got you to see this four years after it was made?

I remember chuckling when the middle school newspaper back then hailed it asa "great movie."
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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PostPosted: 07.30.2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
March of the Penguins[/b] (Jacquet, 2005) B-



I saw this a few weeks ago and agree with your grade, but this was something I didn't know that struck me about the project:

From Yahoo! Movies:

"In the French version, actors' voices were used to speak the penguin roles much like an animated movie and French pop music was used for the score. Neither, however, worked for U.S. audiences, according to [Warner Independent Pictures Rep.] Gill."
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.30.2005 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I wouldn't normally ask, considering the fact that I willingly see so many laughable movies myself, but what got you to see this four years after it was made?



An understandable question. My friends and I were hanging out and had the desire to see a laughably bad movie; our other choices were Spice World and Honey. I hope we chose wisely.

Quote:
From Yahoo! Movies:

"In the French version, actors' voices were used to speak the penguin roles much like an animated movie and French pop music was used for the score. Neither, however, worked for U.S. audiences, according to [Warner Independent Pictures Rep.] Gill."


That's rather incredible! We were joking around before the movie that it would be awesome if actors provided voices for the penguins Disney-style. That seems like a terrible idea.
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Graecyn
Grip


Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: 07.31.2005 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen this weeeeek...

1. Nine Songs

2. Sin City

3. Batman Begins

4. The Terminal

5. House of 1,000 Corpses

6. Beauty Shop
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 08.01.2005 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7/25 ? 7/31

Features in preferential order:

Divine Intervention (Suleiman, Palestine 2004)

Laura (Preminger, USA 2004)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Burton, USA 2005)

In Good Company (Weitz, USA 2004)

Red Lights (Kahn, France 2004)

London After Midnight (Browning, USA 1927)

Team America: World Police (Parker, USA 2004)

The Island (Bay, USA 2005)

Hitch (Tennant, USA 2005)

Gunner Palace (Epperlein and Tucker, USA 2005)

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai, Taiwan 2003)

Fists of Fury / The Big Boss (Lo, Hong Kong 1971)

Catwoman (Pitof, USA 2004)

Every Which Way But Loose (Fargo, USA 1978)

Last Tiger From Canton / Master With Cracked Fingers (Chu, Hong Kong 1971)

Ghosts on the Loose (Beaudine, USA 1943)

Shorts in chronological order:

Pathe Review: Monsters of the Past (None credited, USA 1923)

The Skywalk Is Gone (Tsai, Taiwan 2003)

L'Ecole des facteurs (Tati, France 1947)

Along with Enter the Dragon, The Big Boss is one of Bruce Lee?s best. It is also known as Fists of Fury and was almost re-titled The Chinese Connection, but should not be confused with Lee's Fist of Fury, which was re-titled The Chinese Connection. Got it?

Both Team America and Gunner Palace are like pianists hammering the same note over and over again, and neither one has a particularly pertinent point-of-view.

Outside of the tacky musical numbers, the malicious whimsy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory entirely worked for me?I think it?s easily Burton?s best, most imaginative movie since Ed Wood, and an improvement upon the 1971 version. Opinion seems divided regarding Depp?s performance, and I side with the cheerleaders. (Those that argue Depp is creepily reminiscent of Michael Jackson probably spend far too much time watching Entertainment Tonight. It never even occurred to me until I read Ebert?s review afterwards. And I still don?t buy it.)

Is Tsai Ming-Liang the most overrated director in Asia? Goodbye, Dragon Inn is another molasses movie brimming with banalities.

Despite the trailer's promise of thoughtful sci-fi, it's much more profitable to view The Island as an adolescent actioner?which is unfortunate because it's rather likable until it becomes yet another Michael Bay movie about smashing stuff. That said, it's probably the best movie Michael Bay has made, and surprisingly conservative in its politics. (Sidebar: Between Matrix Reloaded, Bad Boys II, and now this, I've had my fill of massive action blowouts set on speeding highways. Wouldn't that truck driver notice that his entire load was being systematically released, and that every vehicle on the road was being flipped over? It's easy to forgive such incredulities in adolescent action flicks, but this driver must have been really distracted. Maybe he was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio.)

Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 08.01.2005 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wouldn't that truck driver notice that his entire load was being systematically released, and that every vehicle on the road was being flipped over? It's easy to forgive such incredulities in adolescent action flicks, but this driver must have been really distracted. Maybe he was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio.


In that case he would probably want to flip his own truck over.

I really loved Goodbye Dragon Inn on more than just a theoretical level, especially how the banalities you mentioned became beautiful by contradicting them with the onscreen-onscreen splendor of the film Dragon Inn: despite the fact that the film's moviegoers are watching epic kung-fu and romance and we're watching people staring and eating peanuts, is that really very different? I'm surprised at how un-tested my patience was.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 08.01.2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Sidebar: Between Matrix Reloaded, Bad Boys II, and now this, I've had my fill of massive action blowouts set on speeding highways. Wouldn't that truck driver notice that his entire load was being systematically released, and that every vehicle on the road was being flipped over? It's easy to forgive such incredulities in adolescent action flicks, but this driver must have been really distracted. Maybe he was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio.)


Well, a better scene to point out is the one when no one really notices the flying motorcycle crashing into the building.
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