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Screening Log 2006 - What did you watch this week?
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Jim Harper
Director


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

PostPosted: 05.05.2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

28/04/06 - 05/05/06

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (dir. Alexander Witt, 2004)

White Noise (dir. Geoffrey Sax, 2005)*

Dracula 2000 (dir. Patrick Lussier, 2000)

Aliens (dir. James Cameron, 1986)

The Eagle Has Landed (dir. John Sturges, 1976)*

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (dir. Freddie Francis, 1968)

The Omega Man (dir. Boris Sagal, 1971)*

A Fistful of Dollars (dir. Sergio Leone, 1964)

For a Few Dollars More (dir. Sergio Leone, 1965)

Return of the Living Dead (dir. Dan O?Bannon, 1985)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (dir. Sergio Leone, 1966)

Suspiria (dir. Dario Argento, 1977)

Horror Express (dir. Eugenio Martin, 1972)

What Have You Done to Solange? (dir. Massimo Dallamano, 1972)

The Mummy (dir. Terence Fisher, 1958)

Sophie Scholl (dir. Marc Rothemund, 2005)*

Best film this 'week': Sophie Scholl. Excellent portrait of a young girl's interrogation, trial and execution in Munich 1943, for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. Built around an amazing performance from Julia Jentsch (one of the other secretaries in Downfall) and a solid supporting cast, it's more low-key and personal that Hirschbiegel's film but possesses a greater emotional impact. Essential viewing, particularly for anyone who thinks all Germans were Nazis.

As far as 70s war films go, The Eagle Has Landed has to be one of the best. Great cast and a gripping story. Donald Pleasence was born to play evil Nazis.

The Omega Man was fun but Charlton Heston is just as annoying as ever. Could quite obviously have been much better.

And White Noise is such a pile of crap. I hate films were a premise is raised to provoke interest only to be completely dropped later one. Absolute waste of celluloid. Watch Sophie Scholl twice instead.
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pokernut951
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Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: 05.07.2006 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just watched:

Once Upon a Time in the West (Dir. Sergio Leone, 1969)

Mr. Arkadin (Dir. Orsen Welles, 1955)

United 93 (Dir. Paul Greengrass, 2006)

I love the Dollars Trilogy by Sirgio Leone and Once Upon a Time in the West is a great addition to his style.

Mr. Arkadin was kind of hard to follow but there were some cool shots in there.

United 93 was an interesting experience watching it with an audience. It was a well made film and real personal. I was able to relate what I was doing that day with what was going on with the air traffic controllers, Norad, and Flight 93.
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Balthazor
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PostPosted: 05.07.2006 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This weekend I got to see Silent Hill

Long answer short: I enjoyed it.

I'm just sort of saying this off the cuff, so I suppose I'll write what I have to say down here, and leave it all as SPOILERS...





The movie itself, first off, didn't so much work as a horror movie. Horror, despite what most people said, never seemed like it's primary motive nor it's main means of communication. Really, the horror was communicated in death. That is to say, grotesque burnt bodies were the 'means' of death, and the horror that was portrayed was the horror OF death, not the horror of the bodies as such. I know that sounds like an inevitably odd distinction, but I feel that it's nesecary, given what I felt to be a separation of fear of the OBJECTS that are creating demise and the demise itself; perhaps this was a distinction that I only seemed to exist, but it often felt to me as though the movie was centrally detached from that which was plaguing them.

That being said, I felt the movie to have an interesting theme, definitely, and that is the ground upon which I will defend it. There were many points in the movie in which I felt that the theme was going to be strictly Judeo-Christian in nature(specifically from the thoughts of the police officer, "most of them were good people", being told at the same time as we see the large congregation of those warded against the evil), but then I felt that the movie had a very interesting way of dealing with morality. I believe what Rose says, upon being possessed by "the Demon"(the supposedly evil half of Rose's child who immediately gives Rose 'The Truth' and demands only revenge in return) to be most appropriate- she herself says that she comes from the outside-- "A place where there is life". She then makes the distinction that their faith IS death. She goes on to tell the congregation that their faith destroyed the living, their faith killed the innocent, and that the so-called apocalypse was brought upon them by their own kind, by their own actions. By the end of the speech and the cruelty that is evinced by the Congregation, one is stripped of all sympathy for them; although I did not necessarily condone the wanton slaughter that happened as the "protection" of their faith fell down on their heads and they were forced to become the victims of the slaughter they levied on everyone.

With a moral compass as shown from the point above, one quote still sticks out in my mind, by the police officer who was said as "one of the good people", by "the Demon"(who is shown to be, a sympathetic character and therefore a reliable gaudge of character, presumably) that "There are many forms of justice. Mans, Gods, and even the Devils." In this movie I felt an undertone of Satanic philosophy, which is something I felt intriguing(I say this because of the above points. To those who don't understand much of the philosophy: I felt the union of the Demon with the 'one who comes from a place where there is life' was an evidence of the belief of Satanists that theirs is the faith that is in most accordance with life, and also feels that Christianity and all religions that extol altruism promote death and are counter to nature("Your faith is death!", is a quote that sticks out here from the movie). I felt it most appropriate that the Demon should be the one to dispel the falsehoods of those who obviously model Judeo-christian beliefs- Satanists view their religion as that which directly opposes the Christian church. One particular quote in this instance was when the Demon says that it is "only their belief in their sanctity that protects them", as the Satanists feel that Christians are only deluding themselves as to their sanctity. I felt the need for revenge also in accordance with this- Satanists do believe in revenge, (to quote the Satanic Bible "if a man smite you on one cheek SMASH him on the other... Give blow for blow, scorn for scorn, doom for doom-- with compound interest added liberally thereunto!"(33). Another point in such was the child, who although defenseless was unharmed by the evil, and also called all that is pure of the demon. This is again a part of Satanic philosophy. "Under no circumstance would a Satanist sacrifice any animal or baby! Man, the animal, is godhead to the Satanist. The purest form of carnal existence reposes in the bodies of animals and of human children who have not grown old enough to deny themselves their natural desires(the better-half, for lack of a better term, of the Demon was sent into the world as a baby, before she could have been indoctrinated by the church in the movie). They can perceive things that the average adult can never hope to. Therefore, the Satanist holds these beings in a sacred regard, knowing he can learn much from these natural magicians of the world" (89, parenthetical mine). I felt that the fact that the mother was clearly secular had an important impact on this, as well. She was powerful, outspoken, and never pretended to follow the faith of the church in the movie. She denied the power of faith, saying that she will get her daughter instead of collaborating with the churchgoer's thoughts of her being protected by faith(Satanists disavow faith). The final point that I felt was the quote that "to a child, their mother is God". I felt it was appropriate that there was no appeals to a deity or to even much of an external god: Rose saw herself as a god to her daughter(Satanists see themselves as figureheads of their religion--they are their own god). Consequentially, to anyone who suffered through that, I felt that the director may have had Satanic sympathies. I'm likely incorrect, but i felt that it was at least a supportable hypothesis. (the only counterpoint I can find is that the characters in the movie ended up being dead, and most Satanists do not believe in life after death, and nearly all universally disbelieve in the existence of souls)

**One last edit, I promise:

Okay, so the final statement made does require qualification and possible explication. It is of course common knowledge that Satanists to happen to allow room for the supernatural, and for magic, but the issue is sentience: the supernatural allowed for is called 'a balancing force of nature' if they happen to prescribe to it at all, and there is no room for a formal sentience or organization of the souls thereof. However, I feel that this can easily be considered as simple metaphor (they suffered spiritual death from this place, and therefore the idea of ghosts, spirit, was a vehicle in allegory; metaphor is not lost on a religion who's very personage is nothing but a simple metaphor to them. Therefore, the usage of supernatural does not necessarily rule out Satanic sympathies, and the treatment of said supernatural can be considered in such a way as to allow for the difference from Satanic metaphysics in that regard
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 05.08.2006 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today marks 13 straight days of no movie watching (and only 1 in the last 20). Life is too busy these days.

I'm only posting to say that Balthazor really needs to post more often.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 05.08.2006 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Today marks 13 straight days of no movie watching (and only 1 in the last 20). Life is too busy these days.


I second that one. I've seen a few but writing about them here--or actually reviewing them, for that matter--has been nothing but an improbability.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 05.08.2006 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny, I feel like we're growing apart.
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Danny Baldwin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 05.08.2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll make added attempts to try posting regularly again.
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Jim Harper
Director


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

PostPosted: 05.12.2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

05/05/06 - 12/05/06

Robocop (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1987)

Starship Troopers (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1997)

The Hitcher (dir. Robert Harmon, 1986)

Assault on Precinct 13 (dir. Jean-Francoise Richet, 2005)*

The Assassination Bureau (dir. Basil Dearden, 1969)*

From Beyond (dir. Stuart Gordon, 1986)

Blood for Dracula (dir. Paul Morrissey, 1973)*

Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1972)

Green Card (dir. Peter Weir, 1990)

Alien (dir. Ridley Scott, 1979)

Alien3 (dir. David Fincher, 1993)

Inferno (dir. Dario Argento, 1980)

The Testament of Dr Mabuse (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1933)*

Flightplan (Dir. Robert Schwentke, 2005)*

OKay, best of this week's new viewings: The Testament of Dr Mabuse. Enjoyable political thriller with plenty of sharp observations about the Nazis and many other regimes since then. I'm very keen to see the 60s Mabuse films. I know they're not as highly acclaimed as Lang's originals, but I'm a big fan of German crime thrillers from that period, so I shall track them down.

Assault on Precinct 13 was good, but nothing special. Despite the fact that we saw the bad guys this time, Byrne had absolutely nothing to do and no excuse to stretch his acting wings. Still, solid entertainment, but not as good as The Nest, which is effectively a remake of the same film.

Flightplan and The Assassination Bureau were both entertaining fluff. Schwentke did better this time than with Tattoo, but it's ultimately a silly film. At least The Assassination Bureau had the good sense not to take itself seriously.

Blood for Dracula was fun in places, and you can't go wrong with Udo Kier and a great appearance from Roman Polanski.

Curiously enough, for the first time ever, last night I sat and watched Dario Argento's Inferno and actually enjoyed it. I'm a huge Argento fan- Suspiria, Deep Red and Tenebre are all fantastic- but I've never connected with Inferno.

Tonight I'm going to see if lightning strikes twice and sit and watch Phenomena, another of my least favourite Argento films. Wish me luck!
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chicklet
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 3
Location: uk

PostPosted: 05.12.2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iv been at a film festival at uni the past few weeks, featuring iranian cinema

Gaav (the Cow) 1969

Badkonake (the White Balloon) 1995

Rang-e Khoda (the Colour of Paradise) 1999

Nun va Goldoon (a Moment of Innocence) 1996

Blackboards 2000

20 Angosht (20 Fingers) 2001

A Snake's Tale 2005

the film i felt needs particular attention was the Colour of Paradise. this i felt was a fabulous film, capturing a part of Iran id never even considered before, luscious and green, full of life. it was beautifully shot and (though its a horrible phrase that makes you think 'chic-flic'), heartwarming. without giving much away and putting narratives aside, its definately worth trying, just to see what a wonderful country it actually is.

Blackboards perhaps went the otherway, depicting the possibly more commonly thought of view of iran (ie the dusty and hot). it showed stark realism, in a country where basic survival takes presidence over the luxury of education.

not knowing much about the country, it would be interesting to see whether these two films are both trueful in their portral of Iran.

unfortunatly i could not take the Cow seriously, finding it difficult to understand how love for a cow can send a man to madness, yet im guessing it would mean much more to those who understand the country.

not really much to say about the others, other than that they were all very different films from those i was used to. (20 fingers for instance focuses on i think 7 conversations between a man and a woman and their relationship. no other characters are involved - just the two of them talking in several episodes. yet it made a fabulous film, fascinating to view.)

thats all for now Very Happy
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 05.12.2006 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too love The Color of Paradise and Blackboards--both ranked among my favorite movies of their respective years. Samira Makhmalbaf, in particular, seems to have a great career ahead of her.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 05.15.2006 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5/8 - 5/14



Mrs. Henderson Presents
(Frears, 2005)

Aeon Flux (Kusama, 2005)

Akeelah and the Bee (Atchison, 2006)

Henderson was a disappointment for me. Well acted and well written, it convincingly puts some themes regarding censorship and the nature of art into play, but does it in a highly uninteresting way. Who knew a movie about an all-nude review could be this drab?

Aeon Flux is just what I expected: a stupid and only rarely grabbing movie which shows off Charlize Theron's figure and does little else. The only thing that surprised me about it was how little action there was in it. Usually, I find small quantities of bangs and booms to be pleasant among Hollywood pictures, but here I wanted something to stop the characters from opening their mouths and reciting the idiotic dialogue. It's boring; skip it.

Akeelah is one of the best movies of the last few years, surprisingly. Works on many different levels: one politically questions education reform, one works as an old-fashioned tear-jerker, one even delves into the philosophical nature vs. nurture debate. Keke Palmer is astounding in the lead role, especially in terms of the intensity she captures with her face-work, and Angela Basset and Laurence Fishburne deliver solid performances too. Also, the ending isn't as predictable as one may think at first glance.

I will likely watch Nine Lives tonight. That is, if I'm not too tired out from working on posting on my website for the first time in the year with over sixty new reviews. I chose to be productive with my weekend off. Yay.
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Last edited by Danny Baldwin on 05.15.2006 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 05.15.2006 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



I admired it. I admire the poster, too.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 05.15.2006 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Delete post]
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Last edited by Danny Baldwin on 05.15.2006 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pokernut951
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Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: 05.15.2006 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Weather Man (Dir. Gore Verbinski, 2005)

The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994)

The Bourne Identity ( Doug Liman, 2002)

I was very surprised on how much I enjoyed The Weather Man. I was expecting it to be an ok watch but ended up laughing alot. It was a good story.

The Crow was a good adaptation from a comic book/graphic novel. The style of it is still amazing.
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Jim Harper
Director


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

PostPosted: 05.20.2006 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12/05/06 - 20/05/06

Phenomena (dir. Dario Argento, 1985)

Opera (dir. Dario Argento, 1987)

Hide and Seek (dir. John Polson, 2005)*

The China Syndrome (dir. James Bridges, 1979)*

Kiss the Girls (dir. Gary Fleder, 1997)

Prince of Darkness (dir. John Carpenter, 1987)

Cat O? Nine Tails (dir. Dario Argento, 1971)*

Demons 2 (dir. Lamberto Bava, 1986)

Tales from the Crypt (dir. Freddie Francis, 1972)

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (dir. Dario Argento, 1970)

Deep Red (dir. Dario Argento, 1976)

The Carey Treatment (dir. Blake Edwards, 1972)*

A Blade in the Dark (dir. Lamberto Bava, 1983)

Emma (dir. Douglas McGrath, 1996)*

The Fog (dir. John Carpenter, 1980)

Escape from New York (dir. John Carpenter, 1981)

Halloween (dir. John Carpenter, 1978)

The Da Vinci Code (dir. Ron Howard, 2006)*

The Case of the Bloody Iris (dir. Giuliano Carnimeo, 1972)*

Hide and Seek is boring. It has some interesting moments but it's far too dull and derivative to be truly engaging. What is it with Robert De Niro and shit horror movies recently?

I enjoyed The China Syndrome very much. Far more scary than Hide and Seek with solid performances all round.

Cat O' Nine Tails is surprisingly dull for an Argento film. It starts up well enough and has some interesting plot developments, but is almost etirely gore- and cruelty-free. Not a patch on The Bird with the Crystal Plumage or Deep Red.

The Carey Treatment was entertaining enough.

Emma was very good indeed, if you're in the mood for Jane Austen's mannered comedy. I'm not always up for it, but this was definitely one of the better examples.

The Da Vinci Code was alright. Nothing special, but not the worst film I've seen recently. Even Tom Hanks wasn't too annoying, although the Europeans (Ian McKellan, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Jurgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany, Audrey Tatou) were much more interesting.

The Case of the Bloody Iris is not one of the better gialli I've seen recently. The attempts at comedy are woeful, the dubbing worse. Edwige Fenech is very nice, but the nudity becomes wearing after a while- where did the blood go?

And Phenomena is still overblown, overlong and saddled with a bad soundtrack.
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