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What did you watch this week?
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


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

PostPosted: 04.19.2004 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kill Bill Volume 1 (Tarantino) - repeated viewing



Daredevil (Johson) - just a horrbile movie, I really couldn't find one redeaming facet. This is what happens when a hack comic book becomes a hack bad movie. At least in the case of Spiderman and Hulk the stories were far more interesting and in my opinion done with a lot less cheese and a lot more class.



Kill Bill Volume 2 (Tarantino) - much more dialogue driven and escalting then simply the fight and image style that the original presented us with. While the first one was a movie designed specfically for the MTV generation, with fight after fight, limited diaglouge, and a fast moving story with out much build up, this one attempted to build the characters up, add back ground to them, and at times add even a bit of humanism to them. Whether or not the difference between effects my opinion of them or not I have not decided. I question I am turning over is are the movies seen as two completely different movies, because of there differences, or are we to believe that the movie is progessing and advancing. What I do think though is that Tarantino lost some of the freshness that the first one presented by switching up the styles, but then when would have found the movie as fresh with the sequel. I think part of it is that the first one is such a homage to some many different styles and was really like nothing out at the time that this newness played well. However, this time Tarantino really strikes out to in a very loose sense form his own story, while still paying homage and I just don't know if it works as well this time around.



Chinatown (Polanski) - Polanski's movie presents us with a script that slowly unfolds and like a pot of boiling water slowly escalates to a boiling point where everything spills over and when it is all said and done, the heat is turned off and you are back exactly were you started. It is this style that I love, what really did Geddes learn by the end of the movie, that he still can't make a difference, and yet his journey towards nothing is so interesting and such a suprise at the end that it really catches us off guard. One is thinking and wondering throughout the course of the movie how it all is going to end, Geddes even foreshadows the eventual ending himself while lying in bed, and yet it still deconstructs and remains fresh at the same time.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only two.



Kill Bill: Volume Two (Tarantino, 2004) B

Connie and Carla (Lembeck, 2004) C
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 832
Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last couple of weeks:



  • Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939) A

  • Last Exit (Bourke, 2003) C-

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Nispel, 2003) B-

  • The Man Who Laughs (Leni, 1928) A-

  • Red River (Hawks, 1948) B+

  • Monkey Business (Hawks, 1952) B

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, 1953) B

  • El Dorado (Hawks, 1966) B+



Of those, I loved Only Angels Have Wings and The Man Who Laughs. I enjoyed the TCM remake much more than I expected -- it's an efficient thriller, pretty gripping, gut-wrenching, and beautifully photographed by Danny Pearl, who lensed the original. And, yeah, R. Lee Ermey owns. Still, it doesn't hold a candle to Hooper's film, and it gets increasingly eye-rollingly silly. Red River is a pretty great until that copout ending (which even the screenwriter hated). I'm usually indifferent towards Marilyn Monroe, but she's luminous in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I've never seen a Howard Hawks film I didn't like.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, I agree that Only Angels Have Wings is one of Hawks' greatest pictures, alongside Red River, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and the underrated I Was a Male War Bride. I'm not a big fan of Sergeant York--especially not the backwoods cliches and the queasy jingoism--nor Come and Get It. My least favorite Hawks, though, is Rio Lobo.



Have you seen I Was a Male War Bride? The movie gets hilarious mileage out of sexual frustration--Cary Grant just wants a night alone with his new wife--and every time I share it, the viewers become Grant devotees. (To my eyes, he's still the finest actor to have worked in Hollywood.)



Eric
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 832
Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen I Was a Male War Bride, but it's in my Netflix queue. I'm a big Cary Grant fan, too. Rio Bravo and His Girl Friday are probably my favorite Hawks films so far, but I still have quite a few left to see, including Bringing Up Baby and To Have and Have Not.
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Fred C. Dobbs
Director


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

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
Last couple of weeks:



  • Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939) A

  • Last Exit (Bourke, 2003) C-

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Nispel, 2003) B-

  • The Man Who Laughs (Leni, 1928) A-

  • Red River (Hawks, 1948) B+

  • Monkey Business (Hawks, 1952) B

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, 1953) B

  • El Dorado (Hawks, 1966) B+



Of those, I loved Only Angels Have Wings and The Man Who Laughs. I enjoyed the TCM remake much more than I expected -- it's an efficient thriller, pretty gripping, gut-wrenching, and beautifully photographed by Danny Pearl, who lensed the original. And, yeah, R. Lee Ermey owns. Still, it doesn't hold a candle to Hooper's film, and it gets increasingly eye-rollingly silly. Red River is a pretty great until that copout ending (which even the screenwriter hated). I'm usually indifferent towards Marilyn Monroe, but she's luminous in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I've never seen a Howard Hawks film I didn't like.




The Man Who Laughs is a personal favorite of mine, and has a spot in my all-time top 20. I first saw it on a VHS transferred from a 16mm print last year, so imagine my delight (and surprise!) when I heard Kino would be releasing it on DVD. One of my most prized possessions. Speaking of Howard Hawks, I guess my favorite Hawks film is either Bringing up Baby, El Dorado, Scarface, or Barbary Coast. I'm still missing a few "essentials", though.



This week I watched considerably less than last week, but I went back to school this week, so that explains it. Ratings are out of five.



4/12/04-4/18/04:



4/12 - Donnie Brasco (1997) ****

4/13 - Kill Bill, Volume 1 (2003) *****

4/14 - A Simple Plan (1998) ****

4/15 - The Great Gatsby (1974) **

4/16 - Mon Oncle (1958) ***1/2

4/17 - Kill Bill, Volume 2 (2004) *****

4/18 - Dinner Rush (Birthday) (2000) ***1/2



Pretty slow week for me overall, and this week looks to be about the same, unfortunately.
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matt header
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't posted here in a while so I have quite a few:



Yojimbo (Kurosawa, 1961) A-

My Architect: A Son's Journey (Kahn, 2003) C+

Beware of a Holy Whore (Fassbinder, 1961) C+

Siddhartha (Rooks, 1972) B

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam & Jones, 1975; repeated viewing) A-

Eyes Without a Face (Franju, 1960) B+

The Tower (Racke & Muskens, 2001) B-

Papillon d'Amour (Provost, 2003) B

Worst Case Scenario (Smith, 2003) A

Julien Donkey-Boy (Korine, 1999) C-

The Alamo (Hancock, 2004) D+

Dogville (von Trier, 2004) B-

Kill Bill: Vol 2 (Tarantino, 2004) A-



Holy Whore was my first Fassbinder foray, and I was very underwhelmed: it is possible to portray mundane, pointless tedium without making it dull as hell, but this film doesn't do so. Yojimbo was simply awesome, and I'll always love Holy Grail, one of my favorite comedies. Worst Case Scenario was an outstanding mixture of photography and film, limiting us to one viewpoint from a second-story apartment building but putting everything in motion by zooming in, freeze framing, using time lapse, etc. Siddhartha proved to me that Sven Nykvist is a god. Dogville is definitely worth seeing, although it maddened me almost as much as it intrigued me; The Alamo is quite lame and uncreative, and if it isn't one of the most disarmingly pro-war historical epics I've ever seen, it may at least be one of the dullest. Julien Donkey-Boy is the definition of creative, which doesn't necessarily make it good (I found myself chuckling at its emotional climax, shockingly). And Kill Bill Vol 2, like Vol 1, is one of the most cinematic movies I've seen in a long time.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 04.20.2004 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Holy Whore was my first Fassbinder foray, and I was very underwhelmed:


My first few experiences with Fassbinder were unpleasant too, but I'd trade all of Tarantino for Ali: Fear Eats the Soul and Fox and His Friends. (Okay, maybe not all of Tarantino, but I'd think about it.) Give 'em a try.



Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 04.21.2004 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will do. I've also heard that Beware of a Holy Whore benefits incredibly when you've already seen all of Fassbinder's other films, since it's extremely self-referential, so I was already at a disadvantage going in.
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Aragorn Exley
Grip


Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Manhattan, NYC

PostPosted: 04.23.2004 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all. Smile How is everyone?



Hawks - love the ones you mentioned, for the most part (Just got El Doradofrom Netflix -- should be watching it soon). Didn't care for I Was a Male War Bride, though...here's what I wrote a few weeks ago:



Hawks' screwball portrait of gender reversal and squibbling "lovers" never had me interested. Grant and Sheridan's constant bickering feels stale and dated, and the 'mystery' background doesn't add anything to the story either. Grant's a bit too smarmy for my tastes in this one; it's not a bad performance, but a forgettable one. After loving His Girl Friday and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I was looking forward to this (it's the first Hawks film I haven't dug); I suppose his comedies are simply a hit-or-miss/personal preference deal.



I also love Only Angels Have Wings...my favorite Hawks at the moment.



Here's some of what I've seen recently - no half stars. Full review of Super Size Me on my website.



The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Werner Herzog, 1974) ***

Super Size Me (Morgan Spurlock, 2004) ****

To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944) ****

Coffee and Cigarettes (Jim Jarmusch, 2003) **

Fellini Satyricon (Federico Fellini, 1969) **

Merci Pour le Chocolat (Claude Chabrol, 2000) ***



Comments for Merci: Exquisitely made for most of its run-time, Merci Pour le Chocolat suffers deeply from an excruciatingly flawed final seven minutes that almost entirely rip apart the great work until then. The aforementioned ending lacks believability on practically all fronts, a shame because up until it, every character is richly developed, layered, and fascinating. Multiple plotlines weave together into a cohesive mystery of intrigue, and the acting is outstanding (especially Isabelle Huppert). But damn, those fucking final five minutes...an easy PRO otherwise...
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beltmann
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 04.25.2004 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4/19 ? 4/25/04



Chihwaeson (Im, South Korea 2002)

Bonhoeffer (Doblmeier 2003)

Camp (Graff 2003)

Looney Tunes: Back In Action (Dante 2003)



I enjoyed them all immensely, but of course for varied reasons. Interesting that three of them take as their subject the matter of artistic articulation, whether it be performance school, time-honored Warner?s animation, or premature Asian subjective expressionism.



And I'd argue that the absurdist sexual frustration of I Was a Male War Bride is more mature, and more relevant, than anything that exists in today's raunchier teen comedies. The "gender reversal" basis is merely the genre framework for some of the most Hawksian conversation set pieces that Hawks ever staged--much like Hatari! relies on genre conventions to jumpstart its characters only to free them.



Eric
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stefanieduckwitz
Director


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

PostPosted: 04.25.2004 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Memento

Stand and Deliver



I liked both, Memento forced me to actually use brainpower. Agh.
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Fred C. Dobbs
Director


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

PostPosted: 04.26.2004 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4/19 - 4/25; out of five:



4/20 - Boogie Nights (1997) ****

4/22 - Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) ****

4/25 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) *****



Yep, that's it. This has been a busy and stressful week for me, hopefully I can get back on track next week.
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


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

PostPosted: 04.30.2004 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to dedicate this past week as Beltman's favorite movies of the 90's week



Malcolm X (Lee) - This movie was very good, I am still debating whether I like it more than the 25th Hour or not, but it was very interesting and introspective. I found myself feeling guilty as a white man, I can't imagine how you went and saw that in the ghetto Eric and made it out of theatre alive. I especially liked the way Malcolm developed as a person from a wild youth, to hard edge islam, and finally a introspective leader and how this different stages really reflected his age and the different stages of his life.



Quiz Show (Redford) - This quickly became one of my favorites, I loved the paradigm it developed between doing what is right and money. How money can effect the way people act, the different effects it has on people, and how it really comes down to either being a good poor person or a rich bastard. This kind of made me question the career I have choosen of going into sales to make money, while my parents are both underpaid teachers, hmmm who does the most good?



Something Wild (Demme) - The movie began as your classic straight edge guy meets wild woman and so on and so on, and then out of nowhere develops into so much more. I hated the movie for its typical, boring beginning, but wound up loving it by the end for the grace and effective means it used to carry out the ending. Especially the last fight scene between Daniels and Liotta.



Man on Fire (Scott) - Denzel Washington again plays the angry blackman, a role he is becoming quite familiar with. In typcial Scott fashion the quick camera cuts and subtitling was effective at times and rather annoying at others. Not a bad movie, a bit long, but yet not a great movie either.



The Recruit (Donaldson) - Okay I am sure everyone had this movie tabbed from the beginning as I did. Not great, but I am not going to waste any more time talking about it.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 04.30.2004 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mfritschel wrote:
I decided to dedicate this past week as Beltman's favorite movies of the 90's week.


Rock on, good buddy, rock on.



Eric
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