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Thread: Film Buffery

  1. #61
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    I have seen so many movies lately that make me want to smack who ever said "Cut, that's a wrap!" I think the last movie to come out, that really moved me was Cold Mountain, partially because of my Jude Law obsession, but on the whole, I thought it was well done. Basically, anything with Jessica Alba, although she is absolutely beautiful, is probably the worst actress to grace the screen since that chick from Saved By the Bell.
    I just recently saw AEon Flux, and thought it was pretty entertaining, but I was also a Liquid Television fan so there may have been loyalties there too. I pretty much love anything that Charlize Theron has a part in.
    As for darker movies, I loved Silent Hill and the first Resident Evil. I saw Bloodrayne and am totally convinced that there wasn't even a director.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    As for darker movies, I loved Silent Hill
    Was the film your first experience of Silent Hill, or had you played the games?

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Was the film your first experience of Silent Hill, or had you played the games?
    Actually, I have a hard time playing those kind of games. There is something about the angle movements that make me very dizzy and sick. I love to watch my husband play though, which, in his opinion, makes me the perfect wife for a hardcore gamer. There was Silent Hill and another game that I used to request he played but the second escapes me. Something about a Vampire that was betrayed by his clan, but was resurrected for revenge.

  4. #64
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    Was it Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver?

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodeSlinger View Post
    Was it Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver?
    Yes, that's it. Man I used to love watching him play that. The imagery was so cozy, I would just curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch him play.

  6. #66
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    I remembered because I also spent a good amount of time watching someone else play the game The imagery was definitely appealing. And the plot was quite engaging too.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Musashi, but an actual answer to the question would be interesting...
    Sorry about that. I think I was in the neighborhood of 21 at the time. I am in the process of convincing myself to make room in the Queue for another go at it. I am 31 now. I wonder if that is enough time...

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    ...anything with Jessica Alba, although she is absolutely beautiful, is probably the worst actress to grace the screen...
    Ooh, a Tori Spelling fan!

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    Sorry about that. I think I was in the neighborhood of 21 at the time. I am in the process of convincing myself to make room in the Queue for another go at it. I am 31 now. I wonder if that is enough time...
    Hey, we're the same age!

    I just watched movies two days in a row that got ranked in my journal at a nine, and I'm wondering if anyone else saw/liked either. I watched Dead Man, with Johnny Depp and a bunch of other people, yesterday. I understand quite a lot of people didn't like it, including Roger Ebert, who gave it a star and a half and said he didn't know what it was about. The other was this year's Best Original Song winner, Once, today's film.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Basically, anything with Jessica Alba, although she is absolutely beautiful, is probably the worst actress to grace the screen
    I used to feel the same way about Diane Lane. I couldn't understand how she could get so many parts in movies and be such a bad actress.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriedPhoton View Post
    I used to feel the same way about Diane Lane. I couldn't understand how she could get so many parts in movies and be such a bad actress.
    Are you kidding? She rocked in Streets of Fire

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    What do other people think about commentary tracks? I think Rob Reiner shouldn't be allowed to do one on his own--he never seems to know what to say--and that Roger Ebert should be allowed to do as many as he likes. I actually put Beyond the Valley of the Dolls on my Netflix queue for the express purpose of listening to his commentary. I didn't actually watch the movie without it.
    From my small collection of DVDs, the best commentary tracks I have heard are ones by John Frankenheimer: The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days In May, The Train and Ronin (too bad they never got a commentary track for Grand Prix done, before he passed away).

    David Cronenberg:The Fly, Dead Ringers and A History Of Violence.

    Frankenheimer's are great for the techniques used in film making. Example, from the Ronin commentary track, he discusses cut-shots while giving the nod to Hitchcock as the master of the technique. The use of natural lighting, during daytime shots during fall/winter in Europe. Car chase scenes, how he learned so much while filming Grand Prix, that many of those techniques used then, still applied present day. Facial expressions of the actors were genuine, as they were in car, at speed, with stunt drivers.

    Cronenberg's are much the same, he discuss techniques used and are informative in general (IMHO).

    toejam: I meant to tape Bleu, Blanc and Rouge last year, but forgot. CBC aired the three of them on consecutive late nights. I'll keep an eye out for re-airings.

  13. #73
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    The screenwriters' commentary for Night at the Museum is hillarious.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroesí wings we fly!

  14. #74
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    I started seriously watching films less than a year ago. I tend to use IMDb more than Rotten Tomatoes, although it does have its disadvantages. I've been writing occasional reviews too, but they're very much a work in progress. Usually, I have trouble writing about a movie unless I have a strong or unique reaction to it.

    The only two films I've given 1/10s to so far are Captain Calamity (1936) and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968), which are fortunately forgotten by most people today. Thats not to say I haven't hated other movies... usually I'm able to find at least some merit in them, but these two are an absolute waste of time.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrothead View Post
    CBC aired the three of them on consecutive late nights. I'll keep an eye out for re-airings.
    Our local CBC station (no, I'm not in Canada, but I'm close enough that our cable company gives us a CBC channel) doesn't play movies late at night much anymore. It's disappointing. I caught The African Queen once. They used to play them every afternoon, I think at one. I caught Gaslight that way.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrothead View Post
    From my small collection of DVDs, the best commentary tracks I have heard are ones by John Frankenheimer: The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days In May, The Train and Ronin (too bad they never got a commentary track for Grand Prix done, before he passed away).
    I've got to second the Frankenheimer commentaries(not to mention the films!). SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, easily one of the greatest political thrillers ever filmed, still stands out as a showcase for the director as well as Lancaster and Douglas. SEVEN DAYS is one of those rare instances where a film adaptation outdid it's source novel. Frankenheimer's commentary is clever, insightful and often blunt(always welcome). He touches on so many of the intricate details that make his style unique, you really need to savor the track a few times to absorb it all. "I'll make you two promises: A very good steak, medium rare. And the truth, which is very rare." ZING!


    If anyone hasn't seen this one I insist you make time...a few less episodes of South Park won't kill you. If not for the superb spirit of the story or even the goose-bump inducing eloquence of Rod Serling's screenplay, then for Frederic March in a powerful and moving career-capping performance. They don't make 'em like that anymore.



    Another commentary track I would recommend is actually one on two different dvds(!)
    On both Criterion's A NIGHT TO REMEMBER dvd and the recent special multidisc edition of Cameron's TITANIC, Ken Marschall and Don Lynch contribute a collaborative track that just snaps with sincere appreciation and a never ending stream of historical tibdits. As experts in the history of the disaster(both technically and culturally) the two offer a perspective not seen in commentary tracks often enough. Ebert's(notably KANE) and Bogdonavich's tracks are probably the closest comparisons. Additionally, in an antidote sort of way, their lack of Hollywood professional persona goes miles in making the track much more appealing. It's like sitting around watching a Titanic film with two buddies...who just happen to be Titanic experts. Never haughty or pedantic, the track is a vital contribution in two cases where the filmmakers where aspiring to a more historically sincere depiction than the average film.

    (Note: Says this observer...Whopper beat the Big Mac. And by Whopper, I mean A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. And by Big Mac, I mean TITANIC.)

  17. #77
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    Let's revive this thread for another go.

    I was channel surfing last night and came across Turner Channel Movies and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I have always liked that movie and decided to watch the first few minutes. And wound up watching the whole thing.

    Warning. Spoilers.

    This time, I paid more attention to the actors and direction than to the plot. I was especially interested in Tippi Hedren, the cool blonde that Hitch is said to have preferred. She did a great job of capturing and displaying the character, especially with her expressions in the later scenes.

    I also noticed that most of the minor characters were also well developed. Each one was a definite individual, not just someone moving through the scene. Even the motorist who did nothing more than down a Scotch and leave had texture and dimension.

    And the photography! Hitch used many long, wide angle, lingering shots, where today we'd get tight closeups or bouncy, handheld shots, and with quick cuts.

    In one scene, the woman rushed out of a farmhouse after finding her friend dead. This was done in fairly close shots. But then, we get a wide angle view of her leaving in her truck, the truck racing down the road with dust billowing behind. The camera didn't move, only the truck speeding from one side of the screen to the other. This expressed her panic much better than closeups of her screaming.

    And the last scene, where they leave the house and drive away, with birds roosting everywhere... on the porch, in the trees, on the ground... surprised me. The camera angle is from the front door, and I remember thinking that Hitch should have used a wide shot to show how menacing the birds were. Then I realized it was a wide shot, but framed by those menacing birds, giving it a claustrophobia that increased the feeling of menace.

    Two hours well spent.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  18. #78
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    Hmm. I've always quite liked The Birds, but after reading that I am really rather keen to see it again.

    Perhaps not so artistic, but one of the things I liked about Dawn of the Dead - both versions - was the sense of widespreadness, if there is such a word. In the original, we get to see an awful lot of ordinary people who are dealing with the problem (or failing to) in their own way. We get some great longshots in the remake, and a sense of a many stories hinted at.

  19. #79
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    I watched part of that showing too. Afterward I looked up some online articles and learned some interesting things I hadn't noticed about The Birds.

    For one thing, it broke with the Hitchcockian tradition of strong male leads with generally lesser female roles. In The Birds, the male lead was the weaker character; it was the three main female roles that were the focus.

    Another unusual thing: it had no musical score. The only music in the movie was when characters sang or brief snippets of music were heard on the radio.

    Of course, the really unique feature was the ambiguous, open ending. In keeping with that, there was no "The End" superimposed over the final frames.

  20. #80
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    If you want menacing, suspenseful cinematography, look no further than Orson Welles' "The Third Man."

    Warning. MAJOR spoilers below.

    The chase scene is especially good for this. (See Youtube video here)

    The crooked camera angles, the use of shadow, the lack of music during the action, the claustrophobic, Escheresque maze of tunnels running off into infinity, the fingers through the grate.

    Perfect.

  21. #81
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    Would you believe I still haven't seen The Birds? I checked it out of the library nearly two years ago. Their copy was scratched. They have not replaced it; now, the library system has no copy.

    I wrote the other night about how much better Return to Oz is than The Wizard of Oz. It's one of the reviews I've written in full awareness of how angry it's going to make people. Hence my Goonies review, which was essentially one long apology!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  22. #82
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    Re: Film Buffery

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    My brother has a saying that every film - including the very worst - has something of merit in it. Whether it is a particularly photogenic shot when someone opens a car door, or a surprisingly credible character moment, or an unexpected funny line, or whatever, there will be at least one in every film....
    He's right.

    Even the worst films have a few special frames. They're usually the last ones and, when run through a projector, read "THE END".

    Meanwhile, give me anything Hitchcock directed.

  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarongsong View Post
    What a patient fellow (!)---I walked out of "8 1/2" after 10 minutes and met my date outside the theater afterwards.
    I'm more on the impatient side, too.
    Happened to me with the Charlie's Angles sequel (part 2).
    Couldn't take it longer than 20 minutes. 5 minutes later, my wife walked out, too

    I was also tempted during 300, but I had an XXL bucket of popcorn to help me get through

  24. #84
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    Man, 300. That was on Cinemax recently -- I don't subscribe, but they were having one of those free weekends. I tried to watch 300 but couldn't take it for more than a couple minutes. They call that dialog?

    I'd rather watch some old Charlton Heston viking movie than that thing... and I hate Charlton Heston.

  25. #85
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    My favorite scene in The Birds is when Tippi's sitting outside the school smoking a cigarette and the birds begin to congregate on the playground equipment behind her. ::shudder::

    I must say that I'm not a big fan of the bit where they're watching the fire traveling along the spilled gas, though...
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie B. View Post
    Man, 300. That was on Cinemax recently -- I don't subscribe, but they were having one of those free weekends. I tried to watch 300 but couldn't take it for more than a couple minutes. They call that dialog?

    I'd rather watch some old Charlton Heston viking movie than that thing... and I hate Charlton Heston.
    I liked the characters, some, in that movie, alright, I just like to stare at the hot friend with the long blonde hair "Then we'll fight in the dark". Every seen was overdone and dramatized to the point of riddiculous. I love impersonating the naked, pensive king, staring off into the night.
    I really don't think many can compete with Charlton Heston's presence though...apples and oranges.

  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    My favorite scene in The Birds is when Tippi's sitting outside the school smoking a cigarette and the birds begin to congregate on the playground equipment behind her. ::shudder::
    Good one. I noticed something else about this scene, too.

    She is waiting for the children to finish their sing-along so she can take Cathy home. As she waits, she lights a cigarette. The children finish... then start another verse... and another... and another.

    You can read her frustration growing and almost hear her thoughts, "Oh, good God. Another verse?! Doesn't this %^$# song ever end!?"

    Another is at the end, where they are walking her out of the house to the car. She's practically catatonic with the classic "thousand yard stare." As they reach the door, she sees the birds. She pauses, takes half a step back. Her eyes come alive, her head tilts down, and she says quite firmly, "No. No-o-o-o-oo," not in panic but with a tone that conveys, "If you think I'm going out there, you're crazy."
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

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  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Another is at the end, where they are walking her out of the house to the car. She's practically catatonic with the classic "thousand yard stare." As they reach the door, she sees the birds. She pauses, takes half a step back. Her eyes come alive, her head tilts down, and she says quite firmly, "No. No-o-o-o-oo," not in panic but with a tone that conveys, "If you think I'm going out there, you're crazy."
    Great acting, I agree. Isn't that Melanie Griffith's mother, by the way?

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by clint View Post
    Great acting, I agree. Isn't that Melanie Griffith's mother, by the way?
    Yes. Also not terribly distantly related to my wife, on her Werner side. We've let our genealogy slide so I can't find the exact connection right now.

    I think Hitchcock might have wanted to have Grace Kelly for the part, but she had become otherwise occupied so he needed to find a new blonde.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #90
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    The worst movie I ever saw was Quintet starring Paul Newman. It's almost certainly the worst thing he ever did in his life. He could club baby seals and it wouldn't be as bad as Quintet. High school traffic safety movies were better. Army training films were better. It was that bad.

    I often like somewhat quirky movies where the writers show some actual creativity so that means I enjoy very few movies anymore. Some of the animated movies are the best. Being a grandfather, I get to enjoy them again with my grandkids. "Bug's Life", the original "Shrek", and "The Incredibles" are some of my favorites. I enjoyed "Secondhand Lions" because I liked the characters, "Finding Forrester" because the writing and acting were terrific, and "Tender Mercies" because it represents a side of life in America that seldom gets shown.

    IMO, "Apollo 13" was probably the best space movie ever made.

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