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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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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 12.31.2005 10:13 pm    Post subject: Screening Log 2006 - What did you watch this week? Reply with quote

Happy New Year, fellow Flipsiders!



I hope the first movie I see in 2006 is The Squid and the Whale, or perhaps Ushpizin.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 12.31.2005 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy New Year!



New Year's Resolution #1: Regularly contribute to this thread with my weekly viewings.
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Mark Dujsik
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PostPosted: 01.01.2006 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:


New Year's Resolution #1: Regularly contribute to this thread with my weekly viewings.




Mine's to quit smoking, but that's up there.



Happy New Year!
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 01.01.2006 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
New Year's Resolution #1: Regularly contribute to this thread with my weekly viewings.


Yep, I'd say that's one I could work on, too.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 01.02.2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Legend of Hell House (John Hough, 1973) - This enjoyable take-off of Shirley Jackson?s The Haunting of Hill House flounders a bit because, in taking the paranormal literally, it leaves itself no room for ambiguity or allegory. Still it?s fast-paced and spooky at times, and Roddy McDowall is especially fun to watch as the reticent psychic.



Wishing Stairs (Jae-yeon Yun, 2003) - Sort of a cross between Memento Mori and Susperia with a little Ring thrown because, hell, this is an Asian horror movie, right? There are some good performances here -- tarnished by one awful one -- and the story?s engaging for about the first forty minutes. Then everything takes a backseat to the desperately uninspired supernatural shenanigans. Yawn. I?m not sorry I watched it, but I wouldn?t recommend it.



Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) - One of my favorite supernatural horror movies, and a dandy adaptation of MR James?s short story that actually manages to improve the source material. I always get a kick out the final confrontation between Holden and the fidgety Karswell on the train. And--say what you will--I think the demon is pretty cool.



The Woman in Black (Herbert Wise, 1989) - This spooky little ghost tale starts off slow and low-key but gradually builds a palpable sense of dread during the story?s progression. Stylistically it?s a little flat and I think some aspects of the narrative could have used a little clarification, but it still all effectively comes together by the end.



The Call of Cthulhu (Andrew Leman, 2005) - This faux silent-age adaptation of Lovecraft?s seminal story is quite well done all around, and most of the special effects and sets are not bad all. The swamp and R'lyeh are pulled off exceptionally well. The acting is low-key and generally convincing, the editing tight and competent, and the lighting and camera angles are interesting without distracting attention from the story. The only real stumbling block, it must be said, is the big guy himself, Mighty Cthulhu, who is a disappointing stop-motion puppet that lacks even the charm of Willis H. O'Brien's Lost World and Skull Island dinosaurs. The neat live action shot of Cthulhu's profile and grasping hand in the trailer is nowhere to be found in the movie itself. Pity that technique wasn't utilized in favor of what they went with. Still, the rest good enough to forgive even a lapse that significant, and the movie, short as it is, manages to be one of the genuinely satisfying screen adaptations of Lovecraft's work. I recommend it.



Ghosts of Hanley House (Louise Sherrill, 1968) - Ostensibly a Haunting / Legend of Hell House-style spooker, but besides the bland acting, wandering dialogue, indecisive blocking, haphazard editing, and unreliable sound, the running time is painfully padded-out with useless mundanities. Thrill as the leading man exits a yard gate, walks halfway down a block to his car, opens the door, starts the engine, pulls into the street, pauses at the stop sign, and turns left at the corner! Shudder as the cast walks and walks and walks and walks through the woods! The movie even tries to rip-off the ?hand? scene in The Haunting--poorly. Avoid at all costs



Home for the Holidays (Jodie Foster, 1995) - Enjoyable, though the whole thing never really seems to gel. Still there are more than enough notable moments to make this movie at least a worth a look-see.
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Mark Dujsik
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PostPosted: 01.03.2006 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:


The Woman in Black (Herbert Wise, 1989) - This spooky little ghost tale starts off slow and low-key but gradually builds a palpable sense of dread during the story?s progression. Stylistically it?s a little flat and I think some aspects of the narrative could have used a little clarification, but it still all effectively comes together by the end.




I saw the stage show of this material years ago, and it was one of the freakiest times I had in a theater.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 01.03.2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can imagine. If handled correctly, I can see the stage play being more effectively unnerving than the movie.
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 01.08.2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
The Legend of Hell House (John Hough, 1973) - This enjoyable take-off of Shirley Jackson?s The Haunting of Hill House flounders a bit because, in taking the paranormal literally, it leaves itself no room for ambiguity or allegory. Still it?s fast-paced and spooky at times, and Roddy McDowall is especially fun to watch as the reticent psychic.




Received this as a present for Christmas. Enjoyable film. Well-constructed and quite tense in places, even if the final revelations (as well as few scenes) suggest that it's all something of a joke.



the night watchman wrote:
Wishing Stairs (Jae-yeon Yun, 2003) - Sort of a cross between Memento Mori and Susperia with a little Ring thrown because, hell, this is an Asian horror movie, right? There are some good performances here -- tarnished by one awful one -- and the story?s engaging for about the first forty minutes. Then everything takes a backseat to the desperately uninspired supernatural shenanigans. Yawn. I?m not sorry I watched it, but I wouldn?t recommend it.




I quite enjoyed this. It's definitely the least of the three, but it's considerably better than the average Korean post-Ring horror film. The makeup wasn't effective enough for one of the main roles, but on the whole the cast perform well.



Just out of interest I watched over 400 films last year...



Okay, here's my first post of the New Year:



31/12/05 - 08/01/06

War of the Worlds (dir. Steven Spielberg, 2005)*

Cursed (dir. Wes Craven, 2005)*

Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (dir. Brian Clemens, 1973)

Leon (dir. Luc Besson, 1994)

Wasabi (dir. Gerard Krawcyzk, 2001)*

Subway (dir. Luc Besson, 1985)*

Das Boot (dir. Wolfgang Petersen, 1981)*

Taegukgi (dir. Je Gyu-kang, 2004)*

I Walked With a Zombie (dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1943)*

The Devil?s Backbone (dir. Guillermo Del Toro, 2001)

School Day of the Dead (dir. Tetsuo Shinohara, 2000)

The Castle of Caglisotro (dir. Hiyao Miyazaki, 1979)*



War of the Worlds was surprisingly entertaining (given my dislike of Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg), but Cursed was just a pointless mess.



Wasabi was typical Besson-penned fluff; lots of fun and achored around another rock-solid Jean Reno performance. Subway looked fantastic, and what a way to capture the New Wave 80s on film! Completely pointless, but not without its entertainment value.



Das Boot is another fantastic German war film. I only watched the 3-hour Director's Cut, but I may well pick up the whole 5-hours-plus miniseries soon. Anyone who hasn't seen this yet, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Avoid the US theatrical cut! On the other hand, the other war movie I saw this week, Taegukgi (Brotherhood) is very disappointing. The highest-budgeted Korean movie of all time (it cost a staggering $12 million) and one of the most successful, but it's just a series of tired war movie cliches stapled together around some overdone performances. I was deeply disappointed with this.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 01.08.2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:
Cursed was just a pointless mess.




I've been avoiding this one, but did you see the "other" Cursed, the Japanese spooker that plays a bit like "Clerks meets Juon?" I'd have to call this one a bit of a mess too, but I actually quite liked it anyway. There are some pretty good bits that would probably never make it into a more straightforward and organized movie.
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 01.08.2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I've been avoiding this one, but did you see the "other" Cursed, the Japanese spooker that plays a bit like "Clerks meets Juon?" I'd have to call this one a bit of a mess too, but I actually quite liked it anyway. There are some pretty good bits that would probably never make it into a more straightforward and organized movie.




Yeah, I picked that one up. Terrible. I'll have to give it another go, but the first time I watched it I was deeply unimpressed. You're right, it is a mess; a lousy attempt to graft comedy elements onto the lucrative Juon framework. It had a few moments, but it's hard to believe the brains behind it had much of a clue what they were doing. Actually, I've seen a few other things written by Hirotoshi Kobayashi, and it's pretty clear that he hasn't got a bloody clue how to put together a half-decent script.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 01.09.2006 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/2 - 1/8



Cry_Wolf (Wadlow, 2005)

American Pie: Band Camp (Rash, 2005)



I took my younger brother to Blockbuster and figured that he'd pick something somewhat entertaining to watch. I guess I was wrong.



In all fairness, though, I can't say I saw the final twist in Cry_Wolf coming. However, that's probably more a testament to me not caring than the movie's creativity.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.09.2006 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/1 ? 1/8/06



In preferential order:



The Squid and the Whale (Baumbach, USA 2005)

Brokeback Mountain (Lee, USA 2005)

Haunted Spooks (Roach & Goulding, USA 1920; short)

Look at Me (Jaoui, France 2004)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Liman, USA 2005)

The Dukes of Hazzard (Chandrasekhar, USA 2005)



Took in a double feature today: Brokeback Mountain and The Squid and the Whale. I preferred Squid?which is messier, refuses to include any pat homilies in its tale of domestic discord, and substitutes complex emotional rhythms for story?but both films are smart and impressive. And if Ledger or Gyllenhaal deserve Oscar nominations, then Jeff Daniels deserves one even more.



A student loaned me their copy of The Dukes of Hazzard. I found it depressingly obnoxious, but it does have one major plus going for it: The car stunts are refreshingly devoid of CGI. In an era when every other movie looks like a rubbery video game, it's nice to see one that remembers a time when stunts didn't have to break verisimilitude.



Eric
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kaestner
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PostPosted: 01.09.2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
1/1 ? 1/8/06



In preferential order:



The Squid and the Whale (Baumbach, USA 2005)

Brokeback Mountain (Lee, USA 2005)

Haunted Spooks (Roach & Goulding, USA 1920; short)

Look at Me (Jaoui, France 2004)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Liman, USA 2005)

The Dukes of Hazzard (Chandrasekhar, USA 2005)



Took in a double feature today: Brokeback Mountain and The Squid and the Whale. I preferred Squid?which is messier, refuses to include any pat homilies in its tale of domestic discord, and substitutes complex emotional rhythms for story?but both films are smart and impressive. And if Ledger or Gyllenhaal deserve Oscar nominations, then Jeff Daniels deserves one even more.



A student loaned me their copy of The Dukes of Hazzard. I found it depressingly obnoxious, but it does have one major plus going for it: The car stunts are refreshingly devoid of CGI. In an era when every other movie looks like a rubbery video game, it's nice to see one that remembers a time when stunts didn't have to break verisimilitude.



Eric


Good to see I didn't miss much with Dukes. I tried watching that movie while sick and an hour after Nyquil. That didn't work out well.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 01.10.2006 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jan. 1 to Jan. 7, 2006.



  • Turtles Can Fly (Ghobadi, 2004) B

  • The Set-Up (Wise, 1949) B+

  • The Curse of the Cat People (Fritsch/Wise, 1944) B

  • Dandelion (Milgard, 2004) C+

  • Kings and Queen (Desplechin, 2004) B+

  • Gun Crazy (Lewis, 1949) B+

  • The Body Snatcher (Wise, 1945) B



I got Warner's Film Noir and Val Lewton box sets for Christmas. Very Happy
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Mark Dujsik
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PostPosted: 01.11.2006 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/1 - 1/8/2006



The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Adamson, 2005)

Glory Road (Gartner, 2006)

Grizzly Man (Herzog, 2005)

Memoirs of a Geisha (Marshall, 2005)

War of the Worlds (Spielberg, 2005)



I was impressed with Narnia in terms of the world looking exactly as I imagined it, but thought the symbolism was toned down a bit too much. I'm just starting to wonder if these books are adaptable to film.



Memoirs was quite a challenge to sit through. Never caught my interest, and it just looked bad.



Grizzly Man is sitting on the edge of my top 10 list right now, but it might get kicked off. I've got to write a review, I think, to get any decent thoughts about it out there.



Here's my review of Glory Road.
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