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Screening Log 2005 - What did you watch this week?
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 10.09.2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/3 ? 10/9/05

In preferential order:

The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Park and Box, UK 2005)

Junebug (Morrison, USA 2005)

The Amityville Horror (Douglas, USA 2005)

The Holy Girl (Martel, Argentina 2004)

Quite a chasm between the top two and the bottom two.

My objective opinion is that The Holy Girl has many virtues, but my subjective opinion is that none of those virtues matter--I was bored to tears.

NW: Laughing
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Jim Harper
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Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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Location: Totnes, Devon, UK

PostPosted: 10.11.2005 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

04/10/05 - 11/10/05

Switchblade Romance (dir. Alexandre Aja, 2003)

Suicide Club (dir. Shion Sono, 2003)

Moho Han (dir. Yoshimitsu Morita, 2002)*

The Hot Chick (dir. Tom Brady, 2002)*

Gothika (dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, 2004)

The Fly (dir. Kurt Neumann, 1958)

Return of the Fly (dir. Edward Bernds, 1959)*

The Vault of Horror (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1973)*

The Devil?s Backbone (dir. Guillermo del Toro, 2001)

The Ghost In The Shell (dir. Mamoru Oshii, 1995)*

The Eye 2 (dir. Oxide & Danny Pang, 2004)*

Of the previously unseen films this week, the best is probably Ghost In the Shell. I had high hopes for Moho Han are reading some decent reviews, but it's a pretty average murder thriller. The Hot Chick is bloody terrible. Return of the Fly and The Vault of Horror were both cheesy fun, but Return isn't as good as the original and Vault seems to be one of Amicus' weaker anthologies; certainly it pales beside Dr Terror's House of Horrors, which remains a firm favourite of mine.

The Eye 2 starts out fine and throws a few fun shocks at you, but suffers from a pointless ending that reveals the whole film to have been based around a huge misunderstanding.
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 10.12.2005 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Big House (George W. Hill, 1930) - This prison melodrama relies on too much cinematic shorthand to establish plot and drama, and it all ends up in the dumbest attempted prison break ever. Still, I liked the oppressive semi-expressionistic design of the prison, the proto-noir style, and Wallace Beery's performance as the doltish brute Butch. Probably worth a look if you happen upon it.

Jim Harper wrote:
Return of the Fly (dir. Edward Bernds, 1959)*


I first saw this when I was around seven, and the telepoded guy with the mouse hands scared me more than the Fly itself. Go fig.
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j miller
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Joined: 05 Jul 2005
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.13.2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crash (2004) - This was a pretty good film.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.13.2005 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j miller wrote:
Crash (2004) - This was a pretty good film.


I thought so, too. I like how it uses familiar film and television set-ups to play with audience expectation, how the actions of a single character ripple out into the world, and its suggestion that the potential for heroism or viciousness often depends on the moment.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.13.2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I thought so, too. I like how it uses familiar film and television set-ups to play with audience expectation, how the actions of a single character ripple out into the world, and its suggestion that the potential for heroism or viciousness often depends on the moment.


Those were my reasons for admiring the movie, too. I'll add only that I enjoyed how many scenes begin with a stereotypical scenario but eventually turn those stereotypes on their ear. The effect, as NW mentioned, is to force audiences to confront preconceived notions about race and class. Some have argued that the script occasionally lapses into thesis mode, and I can't disagree--but I also wasn't bothered by it in the least.

Eric
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.16.2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/10 ? 10/16/05

In preferential order:

Cowards Bend the Knee (Maddin, Canada 2004)

Slasher (Landis, USA 2004)

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (Scorsese, USA 2005)

Me and You and Everyone We Know (July, USA 2005)

Schizo (Omorova, Kazakhstan 2004)

Le Grand Voyage (Ferroukhi, Morocco 2004)

Date (Saks, USA 2004; short)

Would it be blasphemy to suggest that Guy Maddin?s surreal fantasies explode with more imagination than David Lynch?s?

Milwaukee's film festival starts on Thursday. Right now I'm scheduled for 24 programs--which is nearly half of last year's slate--but time constraints may force me to scale back even further. I won't be attending opening night, nor several other nights. But even though I'll be in Chicago the night before, there is no way I'm missing the 11am screening of the Angelopoulos film on October 30.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 10.17.2005 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Eric,

I trust I'll see you at some of the MIFF screenings, although I too will only be able to attend a select few. I'll definitely also go to the Angelopolous screening.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.18.2005 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moby Dick (Lloyd Bacon, 1930) - It was awful.

The Devil?s Playground (Lucy Walker, 2002) - The Amish ritual of rumspringa was unknown to me until I watched this doc. The movie itself is fascinating, objective, and well-made, but I found the subject matter depressing and frustrating. These kids have never developed self-restraint, so naturally when they are released from the strictures of the Amish community at sixteen, they go ballistic. Then, after they?ve crashed and burned, they decide they aren?t cut out for the outside world and commit themselves to the Amish church for life. But it?s all a ruse; their socially-imposed ignorance and viciously curbed intellectual curiosity (they?re only schooled until the 8th grade because education makes one ?prideful?) dooms them from the day they are born.

The Fog (Rupert Wainwright, 2005) - Yet another pointless and hyperactive American horror movie. Of all the recent remakes, I was the most open-minded about the possibility of finding something worthwhile in this one because, although I love Carpenter?s 1980 original, it certainly leaves room for improvement. (A sidenote: Dennis Etchison, writing as Jack Martin, did actually improve The Fog in his novelization of the script. It?s scarce, but certainly worth hunting down.) But director Wainwright and scripter Cooper Layne insist on a jump scare accompanied by an ear-shattering musical sting every ten minutes like clockwork, which utterly disrupts tension and suspense. And let?s not even mention the blank-eyed twentysomething cast and the embarrassing yo yo yo, my fatha?s from Chicago token black guy. Not worth seeing even out of curiosity.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931) - This very early adaptation of Stevenson?s story doesn?t lack any bite for its age. It?s probably the best I?ve seen, thanks in a large part to Fredric March?s unnerving performance as Hyde. He plays him as a being comprised of spontaneous impulse and insatiable immediacy, and projects a palpable danger from the very first time he appears on screen. We don?t doubt for a moment Ivy?s (Miriam Hopkins) grimacing, nearly paralytic fear of him. I also especially liked Mamoulian?s odd use of split-screen during Jekyll?s unprompted transformation into Hyde in the park while the good doctor?s fiancee and her father await him chagrinned at a social.
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xAndyx
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Joined: 28 Sep 2004
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Location: Platteville, WI

PostPosted: 10.19.2005 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beast Wars Seasons 1-3

All of you are probably way too old to remember the glory of Beast Wars...but it is the life force of my childhood and it has brought me back to life....MAXIMIZE!
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 10.19.2005 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xAndyx wrote:
All of you are probably way too old to remember


That's an odd, odd phrase. I'm going to title my memoirs Too Old To Remember.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 10.19.2005 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Not worth seeing even out of curiosity.


I'm not sure there exists a more damning criticism than that. Kind of like, "It's not even fun to watch ironically!"
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.19.2005 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I'm going to title my memoirs Too Old To Remember.


Too Old To Remember

A Memoir


by Eric Beltmann

Chapter 1

Ummm....
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 10.19.2005 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

9/13 - 10/19

I may be missing a few DVDs, as I haven't kept very good records up over the past month, but here's what I know I have seen, in preferential order:

A History of Violence (Cronenberg, 2005)

Proof (Madden, 2005)

The Greatest Game Ever Played (Paxton, 2005)

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Box and Park, 2005)

Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, 1951)

Lord of War (Niccol, 2005)

Broken Flowers (Jarmusch, 2005)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Derrickson, 2005)

Just Like Heaven (Waters, 2005)

Guilty By Suspicion (Winkler, 1991)

Serenity (Wheedon, 2005)

The Last Shot (Nathanson, 2004)

Flightplan (Schwentke, 2005)

Into the Blue (Stockwell, 2005)

The Fog (Wainwright, 2005)

Rock School (Argott, 2005)

The last two are pretty revolting, while the first two are serious contenders for my end-of-the-year list. Cronenberg and Madden are pretty much polar opposites, but both know exactly how to use every element of filmmaking to their advantage, especially in terms of staging and sound.

Everything in between ranges from the exceptional to the conventional; I enjoyed most of them quite a bit. As for other things worth noting: The Greatest Game Ever Played works surprisingly well as a pro-American, pleasantly sentimental crowd-pleaser. Wallace and Gromit is wonderfully funny and gorgeous to look at. Broken Flowers proves simultaneously that Bill Murray is the superman of deadpan and Jim Jarmusch needs to get the frick over himself. Into the Blue would've been better had it been ninety minutes of the camera zooming up and down Jessica Alba's body.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.21.2005 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Tension (Alexandre Aja, 2003) - To quote Roger Ebert, I hated hated hated hated hated hated hated hated this movie. I hate movies that allow their characters to only be victims and force them to either choose the wrong course of action or opt for inaction so that the blade can fall with as little trouble as possible. I hate movies that try to mitigate their stupidity by ending with a colossal, unforgivable cheat. That said, I thought the style and editing were superb, and frankly I also rather enjoyed the unexpected gouts of gore. But neither one nor the other rescues High Tension from being the most irratating movie since The Village; so much potential, so little payoff.
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