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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: 09.29.2004 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the contrary, the movie is a mean-spirited mockery of these people. It went out of its way to be visually ugly (Patrick Fugit's TV dinner; Mena Suvari's teeth), and to make them look ridiculous (Leguizamo hopping naked on the matress, masturbating into a sock, screaming, "I'm almost there!" with the word LOSER spray-painted on the wall behind him). Everyone who comes into contact with the drug is dehumanized and made to look ridiculous, even the two undercover cops. By contrast, Schwartzman's "clean" ex-girlfriend looks shiney and angelic. Spun is a comedy, but it laughs at the characters, not with them or in sympathy. It is a criticism of individuals found in drug culture, to be sure, but it's a nasty one that loathes its subjects.
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Last edited by the night watchman on 10.03.2004 5:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.03.2004 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

9/27 ? 10/304



Chronologically:



Shaun of the Dead (Wright, UK 2004)

Persons of Interest (Maclean and Perse, USA 2004)

The Corporation (Abbott and Achbar, Canada 2004)

Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (Perez and Sekler, USA 2004)

Set Set Spike (Hubley, USA 2002)

Carandiru (Babenco, Brazil 2003)

Coffee and Cigarettes (Jarmusch, USA 2003)



The only one I disliked was Unprecedented, which unveils only a single provocative idea, that the Florida Republican party, led by Jeb Bush, enacted modern-day versions of Jim Crow laws in order to drain the voter rolls of likely Democratic supporters. Otherwise this rote, choppy, and amateurish screed fails to rouse the same kind of fascination, passion, and outrage that merely watching the event unfold on CNN did?it doesn?t even have the artistic shape of day-to-day journalism.



Speaking of comedies, Shaun of the Dead and Coffee and Cigarettes are two of my favorites of the year.



Eric
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 10.04.2004 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coffee and Cigarettes is fantastic. After I saw it, having a mundane conversation with a friend felt like the most beautiful (and hilarious) thing in the world.
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matt header
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 10.07.2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In preferential order:



The Last Laugh (Murnau, 1924) A

Evil Dead II
(Raimi, 1987) A-

Battleship Potemkin
(Eisenstein, 1925) A-

Festival Express
(Smeaton, 2004) B+

The Last Waltz
(Scorsese, 1978) B

A Dirty Shame
(Waters, 2004) B-

Taxi
(Story, 2004) C+

What the Bleep Do We Know?
(Arntz, Chasse, Vicente, 2004) D-



The Last Laugh is brilliant, and if it didn't have that unfortunately ludicrous and overlong epilogue, it would be a total masterpiece; nearly every shot is perfectly composed.



Evil Dead II lived up to my expectations, which is saying a lot; it's inspiring to remember this is the curious fellow who also brought us the Spiderman movies.



I had seen Potemkin before, and although it is certainly groundbreaking (and the Odessa Steps sequence is an undeniable powerhouse), its didacticism dates it poorly. I have yet to see Eisenstein's other films, which I'm very much looking forward to.



I saw a sneak preview of Taxi, and it was a lot more fun than it has a right to be. Jimmy Fallon's character can be an obnoxious fool, but Latifah's character has a definable personality and great charm; she elevates the film from a stupid sitcom to a very agreeable sitcom.



What the Bleep Do We Know? is an insult to the audience's intelligence and the worst film of the year so far; there are astonishing ideas about quantum physics presented by inspiring free-thinkers, but the trio of directors assume that we the viewers are too dim-witted to stomach these ideas and turn them into cartoonish vulgarities. Seemingly, no shots last longer than four seconds and the real-life vignettes that prove the role of quantim physics in our everyday lives are idiotic, tedious, and impossible to relate to. The film becomes mindnumbingly boring after 30 minutes despite its relentlessly loud whooshing noises and cheesy computer graphics. It's something close to astonishing that a movie about such heady topics can be so moronic.
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xAndyx
Director


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 207
Location: Platteville, WI

PostPosted: 10.07.2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
9/27 ? 10/304



The only one I disliked was Unprecedented, which unveils only a single provocative idea, that the Florida Republican party, led by Jeb Bush, enacted modern-day versions of Jim Crow laws in order to drain the voter rolls of likely Democratic supporters. Otherwise this rote, choppy, and amateurish screed fails to rouse the same kind of fascination, passion, and outrage that merely watching the event unfold on CNN did?it doesn?t even have the artistic shape of day-to-day journalism.




I also saw ths documentary and while i thought it presented some strong opinions it was very bland and poorly made in my opinion. But it did arouse some suspicion in me...
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.07.2004 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
In preferential order:



Evil Dead II (Raimi, 1987) A-

Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925) A-





Laughing No one will ever accuse you of being a snob, Matt.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.07.2004 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:


What the Bleep Do We Know? is an insult to the audience's intelligence and the worst film of the year so far.




A letter to the latest Movie Answer Man reveals the movie to be an infomercial for the cult of Ramtha. I first heard about What the ... in the Skeptical Inquirer, which, obviousely, had nothing positive to say about it. I still want to see it though.



Incidently, speaking of skepticism and the paranormal, Sci-Fi Channel has a new show on called Proof Positive, in which three cases of the "paranormal" are examined, but only one of them is scientifically "proved." In other words, Sci-Fi Channel--not a network known for its skeptical stance--is airing a program on the paranormal that debunks two-thirds of the cases it presents. Maybe the future is looking brighter.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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

PostPosted: 10.07.2004 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aw. I really liked What the Bleep..., even if it was 'kinda cheesy.
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


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

PostPosted: 10.10.2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From 9.20.04 to 10.09.04:



  • Jack Frost (Cooney, 1997) C

  • Don't Look Now (Roeg, 1973) A

  • Modern Times (Chaplin, 1936) B+

  • A Trip to the Moon (Melies, 1902) A-

  • The Great Train Robbery (Porter, 1903) B

  • The Girl and Her Trust (Griffith, 1912) B+

  • The Great Dictator (Chaplin, 1940) B+

  • L'Avventura (Antonioni, 1960) A-

  • Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2003) A-

  • Mean Girls (Waters, 2004) B+

  • Frankenstein (Dawley, 1910) B-

  • Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (Cooney, 2000) D

  • Suicide Club (Sono, 2002) B+

  • I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (Jones, 2002) B

  • My Little Eye (Evans, 2002) B

  • All That Jazz (Fosse, 1979) A-

  • Love Object (Parigi, 2003) B+



I wish I had time to comment on some of these, but alas...
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.10.2004 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:


Frankenstein (Dawley, 1910) B-





Whoa! Is this the "Edison Frankenstein"? I didn't think it existed anymore. Where'd you get ahold of this?
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 10.10.2004 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:


Whoa! Is this the "Edison Frankenstein"? I didn't think it existed anymore. Where'd you get ahold of this?




Yup. The DVD was issued last year, under the banner A.D. Ventures, thanks to the owner of the only known surviving print, Alois F. Dettlaff. The release was kept insanely low-profile, initially sold only at Mr. Dettlaff's rare public screenings, and through a shabby marketing-company website (which has vanished). I almost bought a copy on eBay but lost the auction -- and then I discovered through a Google search that creepyclassics.com still has copies of the A.D. Ventures DVD in stock, for only $20 (plus $5 for shipping). The DVD also includes Murnau's Nosferatu ("Movies' First Monsters," the cover says), but, yeah, who cares?



The film itself looks better than I had expected, although we never see Charles Ogle as the Monster with anywhere near as much clarity as in the famous stills. The three security logos superimposed on corners of the screen weren't too distracting, but, yeah, they're a bit much. The film runs only about 15 minutes, and while it's not anything to scream about, the creepy, wonderful creation scene is a marvel. If you're at all interested, I'd definitely recommend picking it up at creepyclassics.com, especially since there's no telling when the DVD may be out of print and gone for good. Might end up being a valuable collector's item.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 10.10.2004 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Badass. Thanks for the info, Michael.
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


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

PostPosted: 10.11.2004 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In descending order:



Spring, Summer, Fall. Winter . . . and Spring (Kim, 2004)

Carandiru (Babenco, 2004)

Dracula (Browning, 1931)

Close Your Eyes (Willing, 2004)



A very solid two weeks as far as content goes, not much in the way of quantity so, but when it boiles down to it quality is far superior to quantity. Spring, Summer is by far one of the best movies I have seen so far, literally poetry is motion, and I would have to say I was a little taken a back by how well it blended modern day (to a point) into the whole fable underlying transcending the story, and it wasn't even modern day things, just rather a touch of modernerity. Or maybe it was just how well the story itself is timeless. Also, Carandiru was a very solid movie, nothing outstanding, but it captivated and had its interesting characters. Finally, I was quite suprised with Close Your Eyes, it was by far nothing spectacular, but I couldn't help by find myself getting caught up in the story and being quite frighetened by it, at times as well. Simply a well put together movie, with solid characters and a somewhat intersting story line.
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Erickson
Camera Operator


Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 81

PostPosted: 10.11.2004 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order of preference.



Elephant

Fahrenheit 9/11

Welcome to MoosePort.



I think Elephant was one of the best movies I have ever seen. To me, it's an artistic look at a high school shooting. The dialogue in the movie was so unimportant but yet, the movie made so much sense and left tons of "What ifs..." in my mind.
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 10.11.2004 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/4 ? 10/10/04



Chronologically:



Special Delivery (Macauley and Weldon, Canada 1978)

The Stone of Folly (Rosensweet, Canada 2002)

Loon Dreaming (Paabo, Canada 2002)

Envy (Levinson, USA 2004)

The Perfect Human (Leth, Denmark 1967)

Afterschool Delight (Bregman, USA 2003)

The Five Obstructions (Von Trier and Leth, Denmark 2003)

The Hunting of the President (Perry and Thomason, USA 2004)

Joy Street (Pitt, USA 1995)

Barrier Device (Lee, USA 2002)



The best of the bunch is The Five Obstructions, while the worst is Envy. The problem with Barry Levinson?s turgid satire on upward mobility?and the jealousy that fuels it?isn?t that the jokes are lame, it?s that there aren?t even any jokes being told. Stiller and Black have never been so neutered; their performances seem comprised entirely of bad shirts and bad combing. My heart goes out to Barry Levinson, who once was my favorite American storyteller. Is it possible that this is the same man who made Diner and Avalon?



Erickson wrote:
I think Elephant was one of the best movies I have ever seen. To me, it's an artistic look at a high school shooting. The dialogue in the movie was so unimportant but yet, the movie made so much sense and left tons of "What ifs..." in my mind.


Elephant looks profound and there's no denying its formal beauty... and yet, it's a puny movie. To my eyes, it's a very arty-looking exercise that has much more on its heart than on its mind.



Eric
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