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What did you watch this week?
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Mark Dujsik
Director


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 212
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: 11.17.2003 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

11/10 - 11/16

Elf (Favreau, 2003)

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (Dante, 2003)

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Weir, 2003)

No reviews yet. Busy week, what with work and rehearsals and auditions (which went well, by the by).

EDIT: Added links to reviews of Looney Tunes: Back in Action and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
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10 Best Films of 2006

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Last edited by Mark Dujsik on 11.30.2003 5:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 143
Location: Port Washington, WI

PostPosted: 11.18.2003 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twelve hour days = not much time for movies, but it was rather a good week.

Shape of Things LaBute (2003) A : What a movie! I am still trying to work through all of the moral justifications and questions this movie brings up. Even though the ending was a bit obvious and not that much of a surprise, did it ever work well. I especially enjoyed the part of dialouge we never heard ala Lost in Translation

Master and Commander : The Far Side of the World Weir (2003) A : In a fall movie season specaled with such movies as Matrix Revolutions emerges a well done action movie. There is nothing fancy about it just a throughly enjoying movie, that I hope helps revitalize the pirate/swashbuckling genre. The one aspect I found particulary interesting about it is the fact that it seemed, much like Shape of Things to present both sides of the agruement and although the imperialism eventually wins out, it does add a touch of human to it.

Fistfull of Dollars Leone (1964) B+ : Although I am sure this movie was revolutionary at the time of its release, but rewritting the western genre (or thats what many critics claim) the concept of a dark outsider whose background and stance you are never sure of seems like a rather played out concept in today's cinematic landscape. However, Leone sure knows how to direct quite the western and does so with such skill and intricacy that they are great fun to watch.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 11.18.2003 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thrilled that MASTER AND COMMANDER is receiving such strong notices. I haven't seen it yet (the Milwaukee Film Festival has consumed all available time), but Peter Weir is one of my favorite directors working in English. TRUMAN SHOW, WITNESS, MOSQUITO COAST, FEARLESS, and PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK are all masterful, and some of his others are wonderful too.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 11.18.2003 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Weir, I just watched, The Cars That Ate Paris a couple of days ago. It usually receives pretty abysmal reviews, but I sort of liked it. No one seems to notice it's a social satire. Of course, many of its detractors may have encountered it in the early 80s when it was released on VHS under the lame title The Cars That Eat People, severely edited, as I understand it, and marketed as a horror film. As it stands in its intended form, well, it ain't a masterpiece, but it is much, much better than I was led to believe.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 11.18.2003 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad to hear Cars might be worth seeing. How did you get your hands on a copy? I think that's the only Weir film I haven't seen it, and I'd love to fill in that last gap. The story has always interested me.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 11.18.2003 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it's been awhile since I posted in this thread, and I will soon--I'm currently working on a festival wrap-up and screening log of the 25 films I caught at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Hopefully I'll be done with it in the next day or so.

The last 10 days have been grueling, but utterly worth it. I'm already looking forward to next year's fest.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 11.18.2003 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I'm glad to hear Cars might be worth seeing. How did you get your hands on a copy?


I actually caught it on IFC. There's a DVD that I'm sure is still available. Cars is unmistakably a Weir movie; it reminded me of social commentaries like The Last Wave and Mosquito Coast, but with very droll, absurdist humor.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 11.18.2003 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Through Tuesday, not many:

Master and Commander - [url=http://www.bucketreviews.com/review116.html#Master and Commander]Read Review[/url]

Second Viewing of Hulk - Read Review

Under The Sand - [url=http://www.bucketreviews.com/review116.html#Under The Sand]Read Review[/url]

I've been sick for two days and sleeping through the day like a bat. I need to review Expiration for the guys behind it, hopefully I'll get to it today.
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matt header
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 11.18.2003 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually haven't posted here for a while, but I haven't seen many movies since then:

"Double Indemnity" (dir Billy Wilder, 1944; 3rd viewing) I really love Wilder, and "Double Indemnity" is probably my favorite of his, as well as my favorite film noir of all time. When they say that dialogue "crackles" and the screen "smolders," I've never felt that as strongly as in this classic; really brilliant. A+

"Burn!" (dir Gillo Pontecorvo, 1969) A passionate but wildly uneven plea against colonialism. Marlon Brando gives an admirably consistent performance, but the film is really all over the place (I don't think it even considers pace or narrative structure), and the dubbed sound and dialogue are terribly distracting. C+

"Koyaanisqatsi" (dir Godfrey Reggio, 1983) I'd heard wonderful things about this movie, but I still wasn't prepared for it; a really astounding experience, in my opinion. For an hour and a half, you're subjected to some of the most amazing compositions of sight and sound you'll ever see in a movie. Wow! A+

"Distant" (dir Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2003) Melancholy look at two dead-end lives in a modern Istanbul wrought with futility and modernity - or at least that's what I interpreted. The film is so subtle and ambiguous that seemingly endless interpretations may be drawn from it, and that is its main strength; astonishing cinematography, composed of muddy dark colors, is darkly beautiful also. Depressing, but with a certain amount of droll humor. B+

"Now" (dir Santiago Alvarez, 1965) Alvarez was a newsreel filmmaker appointed under Fidel Castro in Communist Cuba during the mid-1900's, but he used his appointment to make more than 600 short films that were gradually more and more abstract and experimental, although all of them are fiercely resilient to the American government. This one, set to a fast-paced Lena Horne song, is complete propaganda - it's inspiring Cuban civilians to react violently to American troops that are tearing apart Cuba - but it's also a powerful viewpoint that has rarely been recognized in America (most of Alvarez's movies are banned here). B+

"79 Springs" (dir Santiago Alvarez, 1969) Another Alvarez film, this one depicting the fallout of our bombings in Vietnam. Very graphic and disturbing, complete with images of Vietnamese women and children with faces and skin burned off. Once again, complete propaganda - but undeniably powerful stuff. A-

"The Thin Blue Line" (dir Errol Morris, 1988) Famous documentary that depicted the wrongful conviction of Randall Adams, who was sentenced to death row for killing a Dallas police officer when all of the evidence points to someone else. Morris' precise and dramatic reenactments lend the film a dramatic punch, as does Phillip Glass' hypnotic score; a bit overlong, especially since the latter half is composed largely of talking-heads interviews, but absolutely convincing. B+

"Pather Panchali" (dir Satyajit Ray, 1955) This will shortly go on my list of favorite movies of all time. The first part of Ray's legendary Apu trilogy, I had foolishly seen the second part, "Aparajito," several years ago, before this one. "Pather Panchali" is one of the most completely realistic and warm films ever made - there isn't a single frame that doesn't seem real or heartbreaking, and I confess to crying at the end. What an experience. A+

"The Flower of Evil" (dir Claude Chabrol, 2003) A completely delightful movie about murder, adultery, political sabotage, and incest. Chabrol's film isn't so much sinister as it is a conversational comedy, elegantly portraying a very proper French family that, in grandly desperate ways, tries to lock up all of its skeletons in its own closet. I've heard that this is a disappointment from Chabrol (it's actually the first movie I've seen by him), but I loved it. A-

"Better Luck Tomorrow" (dir Justin Lin, 2003) Fiercely energetic independent film about Asian-American high schoolers selling drugs and test answers in order to save up money for college - rapid-editing, techno music, revolving camerawork, and a relentless pace are all present in this MTV-released film, and some of it works to the movie's advantage. Influenced strongly by Darren Aronofsky, the movie is far too unrealistic to match the emotional impact of his films, and Lin, while a promising newcomer, can't quite get great performances out of his cast. B-

"Dead Man" (dir Jim Jarmusch, 1995; 2nd viewing) Even better this time than the first time I watched it - I picked up a lot of themes of spirituality and transcendence that I missed the first time (which was about four years ago). Correlates more strongly to the Indian philosophy than the white-pioneer philosophy, if you look at it from a Western-film perspective; Robby Muller's glorious black-and-white cinematography is practically flawless. Some of Jarmusch's goofy humor doesn't fit well, particularly some of the banter between the three bandits tailing William Blake - but for the most part, it sets up a precise and elegant mood. B+
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matt header
Studio Exec


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PostPosted: 11.20.2003 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just saw "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" last night, and I was wonderfully surprised - it is my favorite movie of the year so far. The way that Peter Weir depicts the nobility, brotherhood, and humanity of war is astonishing, without losing the intensity of the several battle scenes. Crowe and Paul Bettany are both wonderful, it's technically flawless - this is almost, I think, a perfect movie.

Wow!
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.20.2003 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really didn't see the magic. I wish I did.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 11.24.2003 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides the stuff at the Milwaukee Film Festival (screening log forthcoming), all I've seen in the last 2 weeks is Elf. I expected it to be the Will Ferrell Show, but was surprised to realize, halfway through, that I was much more interested in the way the production design is carefully modeled after old school TV holiday entertainments, like "Rudolph" or "Frosty." Ferrell's totally committed performance didn't hurt, either.

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 11.24.2003 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I actually caught it on IFC. There's a DVD that I'm sure is still available. Cars is unmistakably a Weir movie; it reminded me of social commentaries like The Last Wave and Mosquito Coast, but with very droll, absurdist humor.


I taped Cars from IFC this morning, but I have no idea when I'll actually get around to it. (I have about 30 movies stacked, staring at me, all in need of some love.) Anyway, thanks for the tip--I'm looking forward to seeing it.

That DVD version also comes with THE PLUMBER as a bonus feature, so maybe it is worth picking up. I've never seen that, either.

Eric
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Mark Dujsik
Director


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: 11.24.2003 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

11/17 - 11/23

The Cat in the Hat (Welch, 2003)

Wow, one movie. And I still have to catch up with last week's reviews. I'm getting there... slowly.
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10 Best Films of 2006

Mark Reviews Movies
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the night watchman
Studio Exec


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Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 11.24.2003 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

11/10-11/24

The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) Overall I really liked it. The photography is great, and I love Laughton and Cortez?s use of German Expressionism and silent movie techniques. Some of the imagery stuck in my head for days, especially (SPOILER) the shot of Shelley Winters in the car at the bottom of the lake with the river plants blowing around her(END SPOILER). Rev Powell has got to be one of Mitchum?s greatest roles. I wish it had been a little more subversive than it turned out to be. I?ve always been curious about the book, but always put off reading it. I?ll definitely pick it up now.

Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987) Around my tenth viewing. While it?s a fairly popular movie, I think most people write it off as a sort of slasher movie, for some reason, or are distracted by the amount of blood and the sometime questionable editing choices (which can be added up to Barker?s unfamiliarity with film and studio interference), missing Barker?s inventive take on the supernatural intertwined with, and almost powered by, human desire. There?s a lot of good stuff in this movie, and I hope it receives a reappraisal soon.

Gothika (Mathieu Kassovitz, 2003) Really dumb, but entertaining while it lasts. I?m fine with the idea that the supernatural works by way of fuzzy logic, as it probably ought to, but there?s a fine line between fuzzy and contrived, and Gothika crosses it at every step. That?s not even taking into consideration every plot thread left dangling by the end. But there are some good moments, and Halle Berry puts forth a good performance, in spite of (or, perversely, maybe because of) some of the goofy lines she required to deliver. A mildly enjoyable time, but only once. By the way, what the hell does the title refer to, anyway?



Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002) Great movie. I bawled my fool eyes out. I can?t wait to see more work from Keisha Castle-Hughes.

illtown (Nick Gomez, 1996) I quite liked this movie, although I suspect it?s not much more than a really brilliant exercise in style over substance. The languid pace, the dreamlike mood, the highly effective use of flashbacks, and the stylistic performances kept me engaged, but in the end I didn?t get much from it in the way of profundity. With all the skewed religious references I expected to get some sort of new perspective on [/i]something[/i]. But nada. Anywho, I?ll probably end up watching it again sometime, and maybe even adding it to my collection.

The Cars That Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974) Liked it, as I said earlier on this thread. I look forward to hearing your take on it, Eric, when you get around to it.
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