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What did you watch this week?
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the night watchman
Studio Exec


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 03.23.2004 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
I've also only seen the first Friday the 13th movie, but I doubt I'll actively seek out any of its sequels.


I generally dislike the Friday the 13th series myself, but I'd recommend Part 2, which actually manages some genuine atmosphere and suspense toward the end, Part VI: Jason Lives, which is quite funny, and Freddy vs. Jason.
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Tooky Cat
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Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 106
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: 03.24.2004 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a few posts behind here, but I just wanted to voice my opinion that Wes Craven's New Nightmare is one of the most clever horror movies I've ever seen. The basic idea is fairly interesitn itself, what with the story being about the movie that the movie is about (haha), but the fact that Wes Craven uses his very own movies in this movie about his movies makes a great movie.
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 03.24.2004 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Tooky; and if there's a reason to watch the whole series, it's to better appreciate New Nightmare.
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Jim Harper
Director


Joined: 29 Feb 2004
Posts: 226
Location: Totnes, Devon, UK

PostPosted: 03.27.2004 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, to get the Kubrick out the way. I enjoyed:

1. Dr. Strangelove

2. The Shining

Despite its 'classic' status, 2001: A Space Odyssey made me want to headbutt the television screen in frustration. I watch it every seven or eight years to see if I can 'get' it, or at least enjoy the damn film. I'll keep trying. Don't get me started on AI or Eyes Wide Shut. If I have to sit through another 'mature' or 'emotional' performance from Haley Joel Osment I'll chew my own foot off.

This week, I have watched:

Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987) Don't know why so many people don't like this film. I love it.

Hypnosis a.k.a. Saimin (Masayuki Ochiai, 1999) Half-hearted Japanese horror film that loses its way half way through and stumbles to a disappointing finale. The story is ripped off from Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Cure, but Suicide Circle did it much better.

Eko eko azaraku a.k.a. Wizard of Darkness (Shimako Sato, 1995) Bizarre teen horror film sees teenage witch battling satanic forces. Involves more graphic lesbianism, perverted teachers and sailor suit-fetishism than you would expect in a film aimed at teenagers.

Ijintachi tono natsu a.k.a. The Discarnates (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1988) This was the first Japanese horror film I ever saw, fourteen years ago. Didn't enjoy it as much the second time around, although it's a worthy film that deserves to be seen by western audiences.
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Fred C. Dobbs
Director


Joined: 11 Mar 2004
Posts: 201
Location: New York

PostPosted: 03.28.2004 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3/21-3/27

Ratings are out of five stars:

3/21 - Monsters, Inc. (2001) ****1/2

3/21 - Onibaba (1964) ****

3/21 - Dead & Buried (1981) **1/2

3/22 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) *****

3/23 - Gothika (2003) **1/2

3/23 - The Rundown (2003) ***

3/24 - Kill Bill, Volume 1 (2003) *****

3/25 - The Man Who Would Be King (1975) *****

3/26 - Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) ***1/2

3/26 - Black Friday (1940) ***

3/26 - The Mask of Dimitrios (1944) ****
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Tooky Cat
Cinematographer


Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 106
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: 03.28.2004 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was at a friend's house watching Going Greek. Um, yeah. Just like watching every other teen sex comedy, I felt my IQ plummeting and my brain turning to mush. I find those movies actually offensive. As if teenagers today are incapable of handling a plot, developed characters, cinematography, or anything of actual significance.

So about 40 minutes into that I just left (I could probably tell you how the movie ended anyways), and two of my friends and I rented Requiem for a Dream. We'd all seen it before, but it's a great film and I guess we were in good moods so naturally we rented the most depressing film available. ?_o

The thing about Requiem is that it's so real and genuinely possible. Here are some normal people with dreams of success; they just take the road to devastation.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 03.29.2004 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3/22 ? 3/28/04

Only one:

The Ladykillers (Coen 2004). The cinematography is mesmerizing?I especially liked a tableaux involving the red-handed criminals freezing amidst a downpour of American currency?and the Coens continue to concoct unique American characters. I most enjoyed J.K. Simmons? detonation expert, and Tom Hanks? performance is certainly watchable. I especially loved hearing Hanks? dialogue, which hilariously uses sophisticated language to convey utterly simplistic ideas. (This joke is sealed by the fact that none of the incompetents ever expresses confusion about Hanks? meaning.) Still, Hanks? deliberate, calibrated performance signals back to the Coens? enduring artificiality?not once would we confuse the professor with an actual human being.

Is that a problem in a black comedy? Not especially. Yet there?s a larger problem with The Ladykillers. Black comedy is certainly a valid artistic mode, but if I?m not laughing I?m generally cringing?if it doesn?t work, what often rises to the surface is hatefulness and poisonous misanthropy. While that charge has frequently been leveled at the Coens, I?ve never felt it was fully deserved until recently. We can find pockets of human decency in even Fargo and Miller?s Crossing, but I find it difficult to endure Intolerable Cruelty, and now The Ladykillers, another lightweight fantasy about romance?about the love of money, and the love of physical injury?has me worried. Have the Coens receded entirely into their artificial world of malice? The gallows humor here is pervasive, and bitterly caustic, which I would defend if I had found it remotely funny. For me, though, there isn?t nearly enough wit or satire to leaven the spite. (When a dog runs off with a man?s finger, we?re meant to find the surreal image humorous for its own sake; there?s no sense of Lynchian satire or even Jacksonian gore comedy.)
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 03.29.2004 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll watch a ton over spring break.

This week:

Dirty Pretty Things (Frears, 2003) - Overrated. My Review.

The Ladykillers (Coens, 2004) - Yet another comedic masterpiece from that unstoppably dynamic duo. My Review.

Shattered Glass (Ray, 2003) - At the beginning, I found it to be a bit too obvious, but as the lies began to unravel, the atmosphere was overwhelming, and Hayden Christensen's performance, particularly, struck me for genius. Wonderful and creative work here, considering how well-known the story is.
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stefanieduckwitz
Director


Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 295
Location: West Bend

PostPosted: 03.29.2004 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steamboat Bill, Jr.- I thought it was fantastic! yep, that's about it, a great film Laughing
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matt header
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 03.29.2004 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also saw The Ladykillers this evening. Roger Deakins is one of the top cinematographers working today (I also love Emmanuel Lubezki, Janusz Kaminski, Christopher Doyle, and Eduardo Serra), and it's amazing how everything looks so visually energetic. I may never have seen greener grass or fuller flesh in a movie.

But I agree with Beltmann: never before have I felt Coens' alleged misanthropy so strongly. I liked Intolerable Cruelty a lot, mostly because its absurd humor, which I found hilarious, gave the pessimism the feel of a good nudge; but the dark humor in The Ladykillers is unrelentingly dark and rarely very humorous. Loved the music - especially a giddy moment over a montage when a bluesy-folksy score with a very old feel transitions perfectly into an extremely modern hip-hop song and back again - but didn't really enjoy myself, which I usually do with the Coens' films.
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.29.2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
The dark humor in The Ladykillers is unrelentingly dark and rarely very humorous. Loved the music - especially a giddy moment over a montage when a bluesy-folksy score with a very old feel transitions perfectly into an extremely modern hip-hop song and back again - but didn't really enjoy myself, which I usually do with the Coens' films.


I didn't sense much resonance in the comedy of The Ladykillers. Perhaps that's a deeply personal response (isn't comedy always personal?), but what's odd is that I usually feel I'm on the same wavelength as the Coens. But I agree about that bluesy montage--I thought that was terrific. There are other equally fascinating gestures throughout, which makes the film certainly worth seeing. But being worthwhile, I think, isn't always the same thing as being successful.
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Hawkwing74
Camera Operator


Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Location: Schaumburg, IL

PostPosted: 03.29.2004 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind...I thought it was excellent. It's interesting that critics give such wildly different reports of it. It's the kind of movie that is open to interpretation.

Very thought provoking, and a fine job by Kate Winslet.
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mfritschel
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 143
Location: Port Washington, WI

PostPosted: 03.30.2004 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buffalo Soldiers (Jordan) - It tries at times to be a critique of the military, but never really accomplishes its goal. The movie was rather sporatic and all over the place, I just really couldn't get into it and it just wasn't that good.

May (McKee) - Just a bad movie. I never related to the main character, and frankly found her character to outlandish and weird. She appeard to not even be human at times.

Paths of Glory (Kubrick) - Not your typcial Kubrick movie as far as direction and style go. It was very upfront about its points and and nature, and yet was still very enthralling. I found myself really relating the feeling sympathy for the characters, yet I question if it will contain the same emotional power upon repeated viewings?

The Others Amenabar - not a bad movie, but the suprise ending was just too much like The Sixth Sense, so that aspect ruined it for me.

SWAT (Johnson) - not as bad as I thought it was going to be, sure it fell into many of the same cliches that all action movies due, but what was one really expecting. Plus I don't think the movie ever really took it self seriously, so you really can't falt it for that.
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The Third M?n
Studio Exec


Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 575
Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 03.30.2004 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mfritschel wrote:
Paths of Glory (Kubrick) - Not your typcial Kubrick movie as far as direction and style go. It was very upfront about its points and and nature, and yet was still very enthralling. I found myself really relating the feeling sympathy for the characters, yet I question if it will contain the same emotional power upon repeated viewings?


A great film for sure. It doesn't include the "insanity" if you will of his later films, but it's still a great anti-war piece of cinema. I'd say Kubrick began to get a little crazy with Lolita.

mfritschel wrote:
The Others Amenabar - not a bad movie, but the suprise ending was just too much like The Sixth Sense, so that aspect ruined it for me.


I think this is a terrific, old-fashioned ghost story, fascinatingly directed by Amenabar [anyone seen Tesis, which deals with the subkect of snuff films?] As for the ending, Amenabar claims that he wrote the script before The Sixth Sense was released.
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Jim Harper
Director


Joined: 29 Feb 2004
Posts: 226
Location: Totnes, Devon, UK

PostPosted: 03.30.2004 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Third M?n wrote:
mfritschel wrote:
The Others Amenabar - not a bad movie, but the suprise ending was just too much like The Sixth Sense, so that aspect ruined it for me.


I think this is a terrific, old-fashioned ghost story, fascinatingly directed by Amenabar [anyone seen Tesis, which deals with the subkect of snuff films?] As for the ending, Amenabar claims that he wrote the script before The Sixth Sense was released.


The Others, Tesis and Abre los ojos are all excellent films, and I wish I had the chance to see more of Amenabar's work. I've been very impressed with the films I've seen so far.

I found The Others more satisfying that The Sixth Sense, primarily because Amenabar's film wasn't surrounded by the same absurd publicity as M. Night Shymalan's. Having been told by countless people that I would never guess the ending, I was somewhat disappointed when the ending became apparent in the first ten minutes. Well, it didn't actually; I genuinely thought we were supposed to know that...well, I won't spoil it for others who haven't seen it, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, neither film was the first to come up with that ending. It first appeared in Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls.
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