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Screening Log 2006 - What did you watch this week?
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 11.03.2006 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whaddya gonna do, watch me in fullscreen?
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.03.2006 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Whaddya gonna do, watch me in fullscreen?


More than that. I'm going to invent 1:9 aspect ratio.
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xAndyx
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PostPosted: 11.03.2006 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bring life to this forum.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.05.2006 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Ramis was in town to introduce a screening of Groundhog Day, part of this festival's tribute to his career. As he neared, I said hello, and as luck would have it, his festival guide asked him to wait right there while the upstairs conference readied for him. This meant that my acquaintance and I had ten minutes alone with Ramis in the lobby of the Oriental.


I don't mean to backtrack and reference a post from nearly two pages ago, but I just saw that Ramis is going to be Richard Roeper's guest-host next week. As fun as that'll be for the rest of us, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it after talking with him, Eric.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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PostPosted: 11.05.2006 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/30 ? 11/5/06



In preferential order:

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan / Larry Charles / USA / 2006

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World / Albert Brooks / USA / 2006

RV / Barry Sonnenfeld / USA / 2006

Recycle [short] / Vasco Nunes and Ondi Timoner / USA / 2004



I think Albert Brooks is one of the funniest people alive, but his last two films are cause for concern.
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Monkeypox
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Joined: 17 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: 11.06.2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Prestige - Saw this at the DGA, and I'm gonna be lazy and simply re-post my thoughts from another board.



Solid movie, but nothing spectacular. The story is such that neither of the leads is sympathetic, so it makes it hard to care.



That, and the "prestige" (as it was) was immediately obvious to me, and I had to spend 90% of the movie wondering how important it was that I saw it. Luckily, every 5 minutes Nolan had to reiterate how important it was, which then made me think that the movie wouldn't be as good as it's supposed to be, and that's probably the case. The preceding paragraph may or may not have made any sense whatsoever.



Anywho, the performances were good, though I never figured out why Jackman had a fading American/Aussie accent. I started to wonder if he could do an American accent without growling. It wasn't Costner/Robin Hood bad or anything, but it was noticeable.



Despite the film's flaws, it's a pretty good movie. It doesn't rely entirely on gimmickry, the pre-occupation with which shouldn't take your eyes off the prize, which, IMO, is a discussion of sacrifice for art. Nolan draws some fairly subtle parallels to the world of film here, though I think Jackman's monologue might try to paint it as a far too altruistic endeavor, particularly when the actions of the leads for the previous two hours give you a far different picture.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.07.2006 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just realized I'd been ignoring this thread for the past few weeks...anyhow...in preferential order:



Flags of Our Fathers (Eastwood, 2006)

The Notorious Bettie Page (Harron, 2006)

Mini's First Time (Guthe, 2006)

The Break-Up (Reed, 2006)



I wasn't befuddled by the non-linear structure of Eastwood's latest to the extent that most have been, but that doesn't mean I didn't find it to be a mess. Then again, I'm not so sure that's a bad thing; after all, the general thesis is that war, itself, is messy. Solid performances all around from the young cast; Jesse Bradford doesn't seem to be receiving the acclaims that Ryan Phillipe and Adam Beach have been, but he was my personal favorite.



The Break Up seems to have been lauded by the same crowd that dismisses unconventional commentaries on relationships as being whiny and boring. But, I'll tell ya what: at least those films usually have something to say. It's as if Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn think their movie is "real" because it has a lot of fighting and a "realistically pessimistic" ending. I just found it to be annoying.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 11.07.2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a satisfyingly realistic ending to a romantic comedy, try The Puffy Chair.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.07.2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
For a satisfyingly realistic ending to a romantic comedy, try The Puffy Chair.


Definitely will give it a try. The only mainstream movie this year to do it right, I think, was The Last Kiss, but even that was a remake.



(As a side-note, I caught NW creepin' around here at about 8:30 this morning. Show yourself!)
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 11.12.2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

11/6 ? 11/12/06



In preferential order:



The Prestige / Christopher Nolan / USA / 2006

Street Fight / Marshall Curry / USA / 2005

Marie Antoinette / Sofia Coppola / USA / 2006

Flags of Our Fathers / Clint Eastwood / USA / 2006

Edmond / Stuart Gordon / USA / 2005

Bambi II / Brian Pimental / USA / 2006
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Jim Harper
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Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: 11.13.2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

27/10/06 - 13/11/06

Carrie (dir. Brian De Palma, 1976)

Rosemary?s Baby (dir. Roman Polanski, 1968)

Piranha (dir. Joe Dante, 1978)

Half Light (dir. Craig Rosenberg, 2006)*

Dracula (dir. John Badham, 1979)*

Curse of the Mummy?s Tomb (dir. Michael Carreras, 1964)*

WarGames (dir. John Badham, 1983)

The Long Weekend (dir. Colin Eggleston, 1978)*

The Amityville Horror (dir. Stuart Rosenberg, 1979)

Serenity (dir. Joss Whedon, 2005)*

Amityville II: The Possession (dir. Damiano Damiani, 1982)*

A Candle for the Devil (dir. Eugenio Martin, 1970)*

Frailty (dir. Bill Paxton, 2001)

Ghosts of Mars (dir. John Carpenter, 2001)

The Omen (dir. John Moore, 2006)*

The Day of the Jackal (dir. Fred Zinnemann, 1973)*

A Chinese Ghost Story (dir. Siu-Tung Ching, 1987)



This week's favourite is definitely The Day of the Jackal, which I'd never sat down and seriously watched before. It's completely gripping, from the very start to the end, in a way that few thrillers are. You know what's going to happen (the assassination isn't going to succeed), but as with Memories of Murder, the director actually makes you forget the foregone conclusion. I can't believe I'd passed over opportunities to watch it in the past. Excellent.



Next up is The Long Weekend, a twisted, original Australian horror film from the late seventies. A woman and her thuggish husband take a trip to an isolated beach, but find that Nature (capital N) isn't particularly keen to see them. After the husband has shot, beaten or polluted everything in sight (including his marriage), the pair discover that the road they took seemed to have disappeared... Very creepy in places, and well-acted throughout. A hidden gem.



I was pleasantly surprised by Serenity. Having been fairly indifferent to Firefly, I found the film consistently entertaining. Worth seeing.



The Omen is reasonably good. It plays it generally close to the original, but puts some pleasant new spins on the material (I enjoyed Jennings' death!). Nothing special, but far from the worst remake of recent years.



Curse of Mummy's Tomb is okay, but nothing more. It's not the weakest in Hammer's Mummy series (that would be The Mummy's Shroud), but it's a loooong way behind Terence Fisher's film or Blood from the Mummy's Tomb.



A Candle for the Devil is a tolerable Spanish horror film, but nowhere near as good as the director's masterpiece Horror Express.



Half Light is tedious, derivative rubbish. John Badham's Dracula wastes a potentially decent cast by pitting them against Frank Langella, the least threatening vampire in the history of the cinema. He plays the role like a slimy Don Juan (to quote Kim Newman), and spoils what charm the film might have had.



I doubt many people have much love for The Amityville Horror (1979), but I've always found it to be decent (if thoroughly cheese-ridden) entertainment, and Margot Kidder is worth the admission fee alone. However, Amityville II, which I have always been told is actually a reasonably good film, is an absolute bore. I really don't know how people can honestly assert that it improves on the first film. The acting is poor throughout, while the story rips off most of the first film and then cops the rest from The Exorcist. If you haven't seen it yet, don't believe the hype- it's so much worse than the first film. Hell, it's even worse than the remake.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 11.13.2006 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:
Rosemary?s Baby (dir. Roman Polanski, 1968)

Frailty (dir. Bill Paxton, 2001)

A Chinese Ghost Story (dir. Siu-Tung Ching, 1987)


What about these three? I'd love to hear your take.
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 11.13.2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Jim Harper wrote:
Rosemary?s Baby (dir. Roman Polanski, 1968)

Frailty (dir. Bill Paxton, 2001)

A Chinese Ghost Story (dir. Siu-Tung Ching, 1987)


What about these three? I'd love to hear your take.




They're all decent films. Due to sheer volume I only expand on films I've seen for the first time, otherwise I'd be there for years...



I'm not a huge Polanski fan, but Rosemary's Baby is definitely a good film. I was a little disappointed when I saw it as a teenager, mainly because I'd seen most of the concepts explored by later films. Watching it again a few years back I enjoyed it more, and enjoyed this reecent viewing too. It remains one of the best 'conspiracy of Them' films out there, and although it's comments on the dismantling of American family life have lost some of their teeth over the years, Rosemary's betrayal is still affecting.



Frailty was a surprise when I first saw it, because it's substantially different to most mainstream horror thrillers of recent years. Kudos to Paxton for tackling an unusual subject, and directing exceptionally well too.



A Chinese Ghost Story is a stone-cold classic. It really should have received a wider audience; the art-house/foreign types are put off by the 'horror' tag, while the horror fans are wary of the romance and kung fu. It's a shame, becasue it's an exciting, funny and thoroughly charming film. On a visual level it's wonderful, but the charming performances and witty script match it all the way. Perhaps the finest moment in Hong Kong period fantasy/horror.



Excuse the fanboy moment, but Joey Wong-wow!.
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juhsstin
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PostPosted: 11.15.2006 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as much as i want to like Polanski, and as much as i respect his work, and as creepy and bone-chilling as some of his moments are.. his movies are just too slow at times. based on someone's suggestion on this board, i went and rented the Tenant. I found myself scanning forward every few seconds because i feel he tends to draw out these weird, suspenseful, quiet moments- once you've figured his M.O. out, there ain't much more to glean from his work. Confused
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 11.16.2006 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't had much time for movies lately, but I have seen a few in the last couple of days:



Little Manhattan (Levin, 2005) - I've been wanting to catch up with this one since Dustin Putman couldn't stop raving about it at the end of last year and, while it wasn't the best movie of 2005, I thought it was sweet enough to be considered worthwhile. Certainly refreshing given the subject matter and features a great performance from young actress Charlie Ray.



Borat!: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Charles, 2006) - Well, the joke was funny while it lasted. I dunno: Cohen is a riot and all, but I couldn't help but feeling as though I'd seen the movie before through all the promotional clips. I suppose it's hard to fault Borat for being ingeniously hyped up, but I really wish I would've been invited to one of the February test screenings and been exposed to it cold turkey. I was also kinda disappointed by how much of it was clearly staged, the polar opposite tactic than that used in "Da Ali G Show". Regardless, I laughed.



Fast Food Nation (Linklater, 2006) - Just got back from a promo-screening, and liked it quite a bit. It certainly puts Linklater back on track after--blech--A Scanner Darkly. I can understand the complaint that it isn't exactly a piece that viewers will learn a whole lot from, but I don't think it's supposed to be. The truly disturbing part of it all is that the world knows all the fast-food-related facts that the movie presents, but regardless continues to instinctually function as consumers. And it's a slap in the face when you actually see it go on; Linklater certainly pulls no punches when it comes to representing meat-packing plants as they are. The cameos (Bruce Willis and Ethan Hawke, in particular) seem a bit overwrought and detract from the experience--good as Willis is in his role--but I still found it to be quite affecting. And I'm finally starting to see the side of Catalina Sandino Moreno that everybody loved in Maria Full of Grace but I didn't get. These are rambling thoughts, of course, but, bottom line: go see it.
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