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Postby O-dot on 28/11/06, 22:22:41

Speaking of fairy tales, I REALLY want to see the new Gilliam. Unfortunately, it seems to be utilizing an even worse distribution scheme than the new Lynch movie, so most likely it'll go to DVD before it ever plays here.
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Postby O-dot on 30/11/06, 20:45:55

Here are some of the more notable Netflix titles as of late:

Ellie Parker (Coffey, 2005) mixed/pro (very flawed, but some interesting surface similarities to Mulholland Drive nonetheless)
Strangers with Candy (Dinello, 2006) pro
An American Haunting (Solomon, 2006) con
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Derrickson, 2005) pro (chiefly for the good performances)
The Woods (McKee, 2006) pro (less interesting than May, but the cast includes Bruce Campbell and Patricia Clarkson)
The Notorious Bettie Page (Harron, 2006) pro
Cannibal Holocaust (Deodato, 1980) con (not content with merely being a shit movie, it irritatingly thinks it's saying something profound)
Fortress (Gordon, 1993) mixed/pro
The Driller Killer (Ferrara, 1979) mixed/pro
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Postby TC on 02/12/06, 20:17:11

fortress was freakin' awesome. best non-horror jeffrey combs flick evar.

today, i watched:
Confederate States Of America - PRO. unbelievably non-PC and freakin' hilarious. i think the only movie that spike lee had anything to do with that i liked.
Rest Stop - pro ending was very lame, as were the other four alternate endings. just plain bad. but the rest was damn fine
Night Watch - pro very cool flick, even though i felt like i was lost in parts
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Postby klimov on 03/12/06, 06:20:25

cinema visits from the past 10 days...

Jury screenings:

Be Ahestegi aka. Gradually: pro / pro+
I Don't Want to Sleep Alone: pro
Shortbus: pro
Sehnsucht aka. Longing: pro-
Slumming: pro-
Offside: pro-
Daratt aka. Dry Season: mixed+
Ca Brule aka. On Fire: mixed+
La Linea Recta aka. The Straight Line: mixed-
A Guide to Recognising Your Saints: con+
The History Boys: con+
La Dernier des Fou / Demented: con+
En El Hoyo aka. In the Pit: con
Quinceanera aka. Echo park LA: con-
No. 2: CON

I won't bother listing all the shorts, but these are prob worth a look:

Primera Nieve: pro-
Kristall: mixed+
Unlocked: mixed-

+

Andrei Rublyov (for the umpteenth time): PRO
Colour of Pomegranates (likewise): pro+ / PRO
W.R. Mysteries of the Organism: pro+ / PRO
Flandres (2nd viewing): pro+ / PRO
La Leyenda del Tiempo aka. The Legend of Time: pro
Wassup Rockers!: pro-

+ photography exhibition:

Tulsa & Teenage Lust: pro+ / PRO
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Postby O-dot on 03/12/06, 13:04:04

TC wrote:i think the only movie that spike lee had anything to do with that i liked.


Bamboozled is probably his best movie...
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Postby O-dot on 04/12/06, 16:24:20

dhn wrote:I hope he doesn't change the beginning sequence.


Bad news, the director's cut has "a different opening set at a high-speed boat race," according to a report I just read. Why, indeed? The theatrical opening was, as you said, perfect.
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Postby big d note on 05/12/06, 15:36:18

Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny - pro (it had enough funny parts to keep things moving along, although few of them were as brilliant as the opening sequence with Meatloaf and Dio. Funny cameos by Ben Stiller and Tim Robbins)
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Postby O-dot on 09/12/06, 01:43:22

The Living Daylights (Glen, 1987) mixed
After seeing Casino Royale, I hit upon revisiting most of the old 007 movies, starting with Dalton, then Lazenby, Moore and finally Connery. (We'll skip the Brosnan movies because they suck.) There are a couple of contrasting attitudes that inform The Living Daylights: One is we have Dalton going for an earthier, more human secret agent in a classic Cold War plot about the KGB assassinating Western spies. Bumping up against that, though, is the usual corniness of most 007 movies (gadgets, lame puns, extravagant stunts and exotic locales). It's not so much that one approach works better than the other, it's that we really have two different movies going on. I prefer the one about the Cold War, and judging by his performance, so did Dalton. Overlong, with a fairly uninteresting ending.

Tomboy (Freed, 1985) con
Years ago I remember catching glimpses of this, probably when I should've been in bed. It's an '80s T&A movie. With Betsy Russell, no less. But oddly, most of the nudity isn't hers. Hence the "con."

Miami Vice (Mann, 2006) PRO (theatrical); pro (unrated DVD cut)
Highlight to read text: Mann says on the commentary track that the unrated version isn't merely extended, it's revised. Well, I'll leave that to the film school students to dissect. What I noticed that's different: (1) opening with the boat race, instead of in the club; (2) a scene where Tubbs finds out the drug lord has sent his girlfriend a bouquet of roses; (3) different music cues here and there, chiefly in the final firefight sequence; (4) extra scene with Crockett and Isabella in Cuba; (5) new introductory scene for Yero; and (6) I could be wrong but the first meeting between Yero and the cops seemed cut differently. None of these changes detracted or enhanced the movie EXCEPT the speed boat race that now begins the movie. It basically amounts to footage to run the credits under. Storywise, it merely creates an additional scene that has the effect of introducing us to the main characters twice. And stylistically it's nowhere near as exciting as opening the movie in the nightclub, with the team already in the middle of a stakeout.

But anyway, still a great, very fun movie.
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Postby O-dot on 09/12/06, 16:59:49

TC wrote:fortress was freakin' awesome. best non-horror jeffrey combs flick evar.


What about Castle Freak? And does anyone know what the deal is with the DVD? Apparently it's the R-rated cut, yet best I can tell it has the unrated version's running time.
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Postby dhn on 11/12/06, 10:28:13

O-dot wrote:Miami Vice (Mann, 2006) PRO (theatrical); pro (unrated DVD cut)

How is the commentary on the unrated version? Did you listen to it?
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Postby O-dot on 11/12/06, 12:30:03

The commentary is excellent. Mann goes into a lot of detail about the nuts and bolts of undercover work, the drug trade, SWAT tactics, firearms, the amount of physical training that the actors went through.
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Postby Kanuck on 11/12/06, 16:02:18

Ooh. I should burn that before I return it, then.

It was pretty good. Would have appreciated a theatrical/unrated option on the DVD though.
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Postby O-dot on 11/12/06, 16:55:13

Yeah, that would've been good, because the two versions are fundamentally the same movie.
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Postby Kanuck on 11/12/06, 20:50:49

I read your notes afterwards. I can see how opening with the boat sequence might have put you off after seeing it otherwise, but I feel like it helped ease into a movie that could be a bit hard to follow at times. It'll need a second viewing just to make sure I accurately caught all the plot lines.

I do like the non-traditional romance story, however. It wasn't at all what I expected, it worked quite well to drive parts of the story along.

I still prefer Collateral. Of course, I've also watched it several times, and obviously they're two fundamentally different movies; Miami Vice has a ton of characters, Collateral very few. But the story seemed more worthy of a television storyline than a movie in its own right.
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Postby O-dot on 14/12/06, 13:22:41

Kanuck wrote:I can see how opening with the boat sequence might have put you off after seeing it otherwise, but I feel like it helped ease into a movie that could be a bit hard to follow at times.


I can see that. It all boils down to preference.

I do like the non-traditional romance story, however. It wasn't at all what I expected, it worked quite well to drive parts of the story along.


This is among the elements that play well on repeat viewings. There's a real sense of melancholy and fatalism to these scenes. I love Gong Li's final shot in the movie on the boat, looking back over her shoulder with the wind blowing her hair back. Beautiful.

I still prefer Collateral. Of course, I've also watched it several times, and obviously they're two fundamentally different movies; Miami Vice has a ton of characters, Collateral very few. But the story seemed more worthy of a television storyline than a movie in its own right.


I think MV and Collateral complement each other very well. Both show Mann operating in a leaner, stripped-down style, and the use of digital in both is stunning -- no other crime movies look and feel like these two. Collateral (which I love) has a more traditional three-act structure, with clearly painted characters and themes. MV, though, is a densely plotted, and populated with opaque, inscrutable characters whom Mann, quite frankly, doesn't care if anyone else likes or not.

Shifting topics:
Licence to Kill (Glen, 1989) mixed/pro
We continue our Bond fest with Dalton's second (and last) stint as 007. This is a logical extension of the less-extravagant tone of The Living Daylights, accentuated by a most un-Bondian plot about revenge, murder and the drug trade. As played by Dalton, Bond has never been so grim and humorless -- I vaguely remember critics complaining that this movie shouldn't even be considered "true Bond" because it so resembled typical late-'80s action movies (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, etc.). I kinda agree with this school of thought -- Bond should be cool, not bitter and glum. (Daniel Craig, however, nailed a deadly-suave attitude in Casino Royale.) That said, Licence to Kill boasts plenty of tightly orchestrated, intense action scenes, a very young Benicio Del Toro as one of the bad guys, and Carey Lowell as the skimpily attired Bond girl.
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Postby Kanuck on 15/12/06, 02:15:48

O-dot wrote:I think MV and Collateral complement each other very well.

That I can agree with, along with everything else you said. And it made a very good argument for shooting digital, indeed. Can't even put it into words without writing an essay, but it just works really, really well.
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Postby O-dot on 15/12/06, 14:22:24

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Hunt, 1969) pro
Dated but watchable late-'60s Bond flick, weakened only by an interminably slow first hour and a mediocre 007 (Lazenby, making his only appearance as Bond). Things pick up considerably in the second half, with the movie rolling out one winter sports-oriented chase scene after another. Also praiseworthy: Diana Rigg as the Bond girl, and an unexpectedly downbeat ending.

Live and Let Die (Hamilton, 1973) mixed
Moore's first time in the role. Basically, Bond goes to Harlem (!) and then Jamaica to investigate the deaths of some fellow agents. Best watched for the extended speed boat chase through the Louisiana swamps. Story moves with little-to-no momentum.
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Postby dhn on 15/12/06, 15:28:08

O-dot wrote:Live and Let Die (Hamilton, 1973) mixed
Moore's first time in the role. Basically, Bond goes to Harlem (!) and then Jamaica to investigate the deaths of some fellow agents. Best watched for the extended speed boat chase through the Louisiana swamps. Story moves with little-to-no momentum.

That was the first Bond movie I ever watched and it scared the hell out of me. Have not watched it fully since then. I remember Bond making love to some black women that gets killed by weird mask thingies, one of the better theme songs and and a great but goofy villain death.
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Postby O-dot on 15/12/06, 15:57:05

dhn wrote:a great but goofy villain death.


Followed by the vintage Moore quip: "He always did have an inflated opinion of himself."
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Postby O-dot on 17/12/06, 15:55:58

The Man with the Golden Gun (Hamilton, 1974) pro
Was pretty surprised to pop over to IMDb and find out that some consider this one of the worst 007 movies. It is a silly movie, sure, but only a real grouch could outright hate it. There's plenty to enjoy: Chases by boat and car (the latter of which ends when the villain's car sprouts wings (!) and flies off); Britt Ekland as the ditzy blond secretary Goodnight; Christopher Lee hamming it up as the titular bad guy; and some weird business involving third nipples.
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