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Screening Log 2006 - What did you watch this week?
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Monkeypox
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PostPosted: 06.07.2006 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:


The Mysterians is standard cheesy Japanese sci-fi. Very silly, but also rather amusing.





I own a large, framed poster from this movie, purchased due to its having one of the best taglines ever.



They come from the other side of the Moon...



... to INVADE THE EARTH

... ABDUCT ITS WOMEN

... DESTROY ITS CITIES!



... "THE MYSTERIANS"



Greatest science-fiction picture ever conceived by the mind of man.

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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.07.2006 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Jack D Ripper
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PostPosted: 06.08.2006 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Session 9 (dir. Brad Anderson, 2001)





that's a nice little horror film. i enjoyed anderson's work on the machinst as well.
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Monkeypox
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PostPosted: 06.08.2006 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:




yep... that's the one. large and framed on the living room wall, right across from its companion piece, Forbidden Planet, another poster that, like The Mysterians and about 80% of sci-fi/horror posters from the day, indicates that aliens, monster, and robots have a common goal, and it's STEALING OUR WOMEN!



unfortunately for Forbidden Planet, however, only ONE FILM lays claim to the title of GREATEST SCIENCE FICTION PICTURE EVER CONCEIVED BY THE MIND OF MAN, and that's The Mysterians.



unfortunate for the whole lot of us, really, as we're now relegated to vying for 2nd place.
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 06.10.2006 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick word: I've watched Fragile, and it's very, very good. Balaguero has improved with each film and produced another corker. Thankfully he's managed to find an ending that's just as good as the rest of the film. Calista Flockhart is pretty solid in the lead. It's more polished that both of his earlier films, and boasts a great villain, something lacking from The Nameless and Darkness. If you enjoyed those, you'll like Fragile. A full review will follow. Two broken thumbs up!
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Balthazor
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PostPosted: 06.12.2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Been watching some movies Reply with quote

I've been watching a good bit since school let out: Red, Hana Bi, and a few others. The one I feel like talking about, though, is the Omen.



Spoiler warning, off the cuff response again:



I saw Omen this weekend. Sunday, actually. Now, mind you I?ve seen other movies that I could talk about in more depth, but my reactions to these (Red, Amadeus, Hana-Bi) are nothing spectacular, really. Mind you, I quite enjoyed those movies mentioned, but what I mean is that, although I greatly enjoyed them, I don?t believe my reactions to them profound, or frankly, different enough to warrant any real depiction. I felt the same thing countless others did, and although that does not make it less it certainly makes it much less worthy to force you all to read. However, I find that my feelings and reactions towards horror movies tend to be quite unique in many ways, and I therefore have recently become quite interested in the experiences they offer, the insights they give into my own character, and into the character of those who created the movies themselves.

The Omen itself was a strange movie to me. For a movie about the Devil I was hoping to find satanic pretensions; perhaps a director who?s done his research to make everything nice and kosher (minus of course the anthromorphic Satan, but we?re all able to over a look a few things now and then for the sake of spectacle.) However, The Omen definitely takes the concept of Satan from a (disappointingly in my mind) Christian point of view. I suppose this is how it had to be; the majority of the world itself is Christian at least in sentiment. The way the characters themselves reacted to and with Damien seemed to strike me the most. The mother was the one who really confused me, I suppose. I remember being rather moved to disgust by her comment that she said, whispering as though it were a sure sign of the evil of the child, ?He never gets sick. Most children get colds, runny noses?? Perhaps I simply don?t quite understand, but it seems to me rather sick that the mother would rather her child be sick, that somehow sickness, meekness, is a sign of holiness, that she would rather her kid be weak and sickly, because that would somehow be a sign that he was not evil. I was rather disgusted that she would suggest that there is something wrong with a person if they are unusually healthy. (Perhaps Stephen Hawking ought be murdered by a rather large array of knives for being too smart? After all, several unrelated occurrences have lead to deaths since his birth as well. I?m sure a few too many for the Catholic Church, as portrayed in this movie,to sit idly by?). The second thing that struck me was the rather paradoxical situation that was brought by the child in regards to animals. The first was that animals could sense its power and were therefore loyal (the dog). However, many animals were, apparently, driven to rage and fear by the child. The first would be proper, given Satan?s connection with nature, but the second is simply confusing and seemed tacked on, given that no other animals besides these exotic animals were afraid; dogs seemed to follow him. Finally, the nanny?s reaction to the boy was about the same as the dog, which held some suspicion for me. Surely the father would have realized what a dependent and weak personality this woman held, and that she would surely do whatever the child wanted, likely to let him do things she would not let him do? The entire situation seemed rather odd to me, and as a consequence, I did not enjoy very many of the characters; all of them seemed foolish, to me, or ridiculous, or both. The only character I enjoyed was for a very brief time the father (the period of time in which he was being reasonable, rather). Well, that and I cheered for him when he fended off the dogs. Twice.

Oh, the dogs. That had to have been the only scary part of the movie. Mind, I know it wasn?t for most, but I?m utterly terrified of the things. Dogs and I have a bad history. Anyway, this created a few rather unique moments for me, during which scenes it should be obvious. One of the better times I had in the entire movie were the two latest dog scenes; where the two dogs were chasing the men at the cemetery and the dog in the man?s house. When the dog has the man?s arm in the cemetery, I ended up saying aloud ?Shove your arm down his throat. It?ll choke to death. Kill the dog!? and I know I at very least thought the scissors the man was carrying in the house were meant for the dog?s skull, not for the boy?s hair.

Other than that, the movie hardly seemed effective as a horror movie. The times when something would come and jump were horrible predictable ?Oh, look, utter silence, I wonder where the Nanny is. Right behind you, eh? What a coincidence.? and when they were not the scenes were simply grotesquely surreal (the bathtub scene, for instance. I was less scared then horribly confused.). As a whole, I felt that far too many people too quickly jumped to the conclusion ?oh, the boy might be evil!? Would any person in that situation genuinely conclude such a thing? I understand that it was meant to fulfill the plot of the movie but goodness. I had some respect for the father of the boy at first, but I felt it was not even the nudging kind of subtle that the man was praying pretty much the day after he declared to the movie that he was an atheist. I also felt it was at least mildly obvious what the movie was saying, especially because the movie portrayed this prayer without even the slightest hint of irony, and the movie even seems to attempt to engender respect of him for such a deed (notice the low angles used).

All in all, I didn?t particularly enjoy it. I felt that the characters were either unlikable or too distant to really care about one way or the other, and the entire situation lacked any verisimilitude to actually cement the issue, nor any particular suspense due to this same lack of apparent reality. The place where reality was missing most was not in the plot, but in the line of thought. I felt that it would take a particularly accepting and illogical mind to follow the suspicions and ridiculousness of the characters. I do have one final point. There was a feline corpse in the cemetery, in the woman?s grave. The father reiterates that the priest said that the woman was a jackal (I had assumed this to either be comedic relief due to irony or that he was using a common pejorative phrase. If we were not meant to laugh at that cat skeleton not am I only severely disappointed at the lack of understanding that the Director evinces, but that any and all SEMBLANCE of reality that existed at that point was shattered. The fact that this Jackal gave birth to two human babies without anybody batting lashes amuses me and astounds me to an unreasonable degree.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.12.2006 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Been watching some movies Reply with quote

Balthazor wrote:
Dogs and I have a bad history.


Laughing
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Balthazor
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PostPosted: 06.12.2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pfft, don't make it sounds like it's so irrational to be afraid of critters with big sharp teeth who were, in general, pretty much made for killing slower critters. Rolling Eyes
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.13.2006 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want details about the "bad history."
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 06.18.2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

06/06/06 - 18/06/06

They Live (dir. John Carpenter, 1987)

To the Devil A Daughter (dir. Peter Sykes, 1976)

Eyes of Crystal (dir. Eros Puglielli, 2004)*

The House of Wax (dir. Andre de Toth, 1953)*

Chronicles of Riddick (dir. David Twohy, 2004)

Castle of the Walking Dead (dir. Harald Reinl, 1967)*

Battle Royale (dir. Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)

Dead End (dir. Jean Baptiste-Andrea & Fabrice Canepa, 2003)

The Incredible Shrinking Man (dir. Jack Arnold, 1957)*

Die, Monster, Die! (dir. Daniel Haller, 1965)

Fragile (dir. Jaume Balaguero, 2004)*

Bhoot (dir. Ram Gopal Varma, 2003)*

Cypher (dir. Vincenzo Natali, 2002)

Nine Queens (dir. Fabian Bielinsky, 2000)

The Black Cat (dir. Edward G. Ulmer, 1934)*

Der Golem (dir. Paul Weggener/Carl Boese, 1920)*

xXx:The Next Level (dir. Lee Tamahori, 2005)*

The Raven (dir. Louis Friedlander, 1935)*

Werewolf of London (dir. Stuart Walker, 1935)

Tombs of the Blind Dead (dir. Amando de Ossorio, 1971)

The Vampire (dir. Fernando Mendez, 1957)*

Dracula (dir. George Melford, 1931)*

Return of the Zombies (dir. Jose Luis Merino, 1973)*

Leon (dir. Luc Besson, 1994)



Lots of new viewings recently, so here goes.



Eyes of Crystal is a violent, convoluted modern giallo. Leading man not great, but the supporting cast are all excellent and the story is twisted enough to keep one's attention. It's nothing terribly original, but it's been a while since Italy (it's a Spanish co-production) produced any decent thrillers.



Andre de Toth's House of Wax is great fun, but campy as hell. Price is brilliant as usual but the rest of the cast are largely irrelevant.



Castle of the Walking Dead is a German period horror film, yet another version of 'The Pit and the Pendulum'. Very influenced by Corman's Poe adaptations(and to a lesser extent Hammer). Christopher Lee plays the villain, with ex-patriate Lex Barker and German pin-up Karin Dor his unwitting victims. Not up to the standards of Corman or Hammer's best, but lots of fun nonetheless with an attractive cast.



The Incredible Shrinking Man is surprisingly serious in tone, something I wasn't prepared for. Enjoyable though. I'll probably get lynched for this, but I did prefer Arnold's Tarantula.



Fragile is simply excellent. Surprising too, especially given the amount of torture handed out to its young cast. God knows if this will ever make it to a US release, and it will probably get slammed more than Darkness, but very much worth watching.



Bhoot shows promise but relies too much on copying everything from The Exorcist to The Apartment. It's nice to see Bollywood taking the horror movie seriously, but more effort is needed.



The Black Cat and The Raven were both thoroughly entertaining, although I do feel Karloff turned in better performances than Lugosi. Surprisingly level of cruelty in The Raven.



Enjoyed Der Golem, but I don't think it can be considered among the best of the German Expressionist films.



The Vampire, my first Mexican vampire movie, was perhaps a little too indebted to Universal, but fun nonetheless. Much better was Melford's Dracula, which I think would probably be better than Browning's version if the pacing was just a little tighter. Villarias' performance was weaker than Lugosi's, although not by much, to be honest.



Return of the Zombies is poorly made and badly dubbed, but it throws in voodoo, murder, necrophilia and zombies into the mix, so it's actually pretty fun.



The worst film of the week is most definitely the xXx sequel. Bloody atrocious script and weak acting make the original look like a work of art. Easily one of the worst action movies I've seen in a long time.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.19.2006 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6/1 ? 6/18/06



Viewing has picked up a little recently? here are the last three weeks, in preferential order:



A Prairie Home Companion / Robert Altman / USA / 2006

Cars / John Lasseter and Joe Ranft / USA / 2006

Wolf Creek / Greg McLean / Australia / 2005

Serenity / Joss Whedon / USA / 2005

An Inconvenient Truth / Davis Guggenheim / USA / 2006

Hour of the Wolf / Ingmar Bergman / Sweden / 1968

X-Men: The Last Stand / Brett Ratner / USA / 2006

The Family Stone / Thomas Bezucha / USA / 2005

The Dirty Dozen / Robert Aldrich / USA / 1967

Wicked City / Kawajiri Yoshiaki / Japan / 1987

Hostel / Eli Roth / USA / 2006

The Dark Half / George A. Romero / USA / 1991



Shorts in preferential order:

One Man Band / Mark Andrews and Andrew Jimenez / USA / 2005

Twin Husbands / Hal Yates / USA / 1946

The Amputee / David Lynch / USA / 1974

The Cowboy and the Frenchman / David Lynch / USA / 1989



So, two horror movies with wolf in the title. Am I bad film lover if I confess I preferred the Australian gorefest over Ingmar Bergman's portrait of a descent into madness?



An acquaintance claims that an AARP membership is required to enjoy A Prairie Home Companion, but I don't think the movie's best virtues -- its meta-adaptation structure, its lived-in characterizations, its meandering charms, its thematic concerns -- are exclusive to older viewers. I've never heard Keillor's radio program, so I have no idea whether Altman is faithful to it or not, but the movie at least seems to capture its particular spirit. While I can?t say the film made me more inclined to listen to Keillor?s actual show, I certainly enjoyed watching Altman?s process of adapting it. The film eschews conventional narrative, but that's a major virtue of many Altman films, I think. In the case of A Prairie Home Companion, I would argue that the plot exists almost entirely on a thematic level: Seen as a meditation on longevity, endings, death, and what it means to move on, the movie is surprisingly focused on its "story."



That said, it might indeed be necessary to have an AARP membership to see this movie. At the theater my wife and I attended, there was a cadre of blue-haired seventysomethings loitering near the auditorium, and we grew wary after noticing that all of them had crochet needles in their fists, while a few carried tea-cozies wrapped around bricks. Since my wife and I didn't know the password, we approached cautiously... she concealed her Dixie Chicks t-shirt with a large popcorn, and I started talking up Milton Berle. What finally got us through, though, was a well-timed soundbite about our appreciation for the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation.



Later we learned that the password was "urethroplasty."



Jim Harper wrote:
The Incredible Shrinking Man is surprisingly serious in tone, something I wasn't prepared for. Enjoyable though. I'll probably get lynched for this, but I did prefer Arnold's Tarantula.


Where's the rope?
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Jack D Ripper
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PostPosted: 06.23.2006 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Been watching some movies Reply with quote

Balthazor wrote:
I've been watching a good bit since school let out: Red, Hana Bi, and a few others. The one I feel like talking about, though, is the Omen.




no offense, but the movie didn't work for you because you simply don't seem to understand as much about christianity and/or satan as you might think. i'm not sure how old you are, but this movie certainly went miles over your head. please don't think i'm picking on you, i'm just trying to say you aren't prepared with enough of the necessary knowledge to even give the film a snowballs chance in hell(pun intended) of working. two examples:



1. the dogs are the hounds of hell. they have been sent to protect damien.

2. same goes for the nanny, mia farrow. she is an agent of satan.

3. the only people who knew about the jackyl were the clergymen and women who worked at the hospital and they understood what they were dealing with. pure evil. and the doctor/priest who pursuaded mr thorn to take damien was certainly punished for his sins.



saying that, the omen is a bad film starring some very talented actors. mia farrow was wonderful. her screen time alone is worth giving the movie a chance at some point.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.27.2006 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6/19 ? 6/25/06



Features in preferential order:

Fateless / Koltai / Germany-Hungary / 2005

Va Savoir / Rivette / France / 2001

Flightplan / Schwentke / USA / 2005

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo / LeRoy / USA / 1944

Magnificent Butcher / Yuen / Hong Kong / 1979

The Brothers Grimm / Gilliam / USA / 2005

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic / Lynch / USA / 2005

River?s Edge / Hunter / USA / 1986



Shorts in preferential order:

The Man in the Barn / Tourneur / USA / 1937

Beyond the Line of Duty (Air Force Film 119) / Seiler / USA / 1942

Looney Tunes: Yankee Doodle Bugs / Freleng / USA / 1954

Merrie Melodies: Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid / Clampett / USA / 1942

Looney Tunes: Yankee Doodle Daffy / Freleng / USA / 1943

You, John Jones / LeRoy / USA / 1943



I?ve never seen a concentration camp drama quite like Fateless; it?s like Schindler?s List filtered through the autumn light. Although we follow one Hungarian teen?s experiences at Buchenwald, this plotless movie?there?s no ?list is life? sentimentality here?is instead designed as a series of sepia-toned, lyrical, impressionistic images that are more harrowing for being so unexpectedly beautiful. Example: An exhausted group of workers, forced to stand outside throughout a wet, freezing night, fend off collapse by swaying hypnotically, and the picture might be a field of wheat?albeit in prison stripes?flapping in the breeze.



I laughed out loud more than once during Sarah Silverman's standup routine, but Jesus is Magic is one of the most uneven concert films I've ever seen--her best jokes skewer narcissism, self-absorption, self-delusion, and the hypocrisy of American political correctness, but her worst jokes are dull-witted obscenities. Plus, the tacked-on "skits" are, without exception, awful.
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pokernut951
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PostPosted: 06.28.2006 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Total Recall (Dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1990)

Winter Passing (Dir. Adam Rapp, 2005)





I have never seen Total Recall except on TV and I gotta tell yah, they do not make violence like that anymore "Start the reactor"



Winter Passing was really odd. The Will Ferrell character was funny but the rest was dramatic family problems. They should have utilized Ed Harris a little more I think but it was alright.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.04.2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6/26 ? 7/2/06



In preferential order:



Superman Returns / Singer / USA / 2006

Separate Lies / Fellowes / UK / 2005

Kairo (Pulse) / Kurosawa / Japan / 2001



I enjoyed all three.
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