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logger
Re-Animator

"You'll never get credit for my discovery. Who's going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a freak show."
Peronel
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Aug 20 2008, 07:24 AM)
I love Jeff Goldblum. He could ask me to do anything, and as long as he said "er" and stuttered enough when saying it, I'd do it.
*


Same here, but I think I'd be willing to er, go a bit further than you, Joe.
widowspider
QUOTE (Zoe @ Aug 21 2008, 10:53 PM)
'Tell No One' (2006)

Really very enjoyable, the French certainly know how to make a stylish, gripping thriller.  It was like the best Sunday night detective drama you've ever seen. Very well plotted, with great performances across the board, particularly from an impressively fluent Kristen Scott Thomas - is there no end to that woman's talents? I was intrigued by the story and cared about the characters. Sure, in terms of plot it didn't break any boundaries in terms of crime thrillers, but it made the most of the genre and frequently rose above it in both acting and directing.

I have one main problem with it. Yet another film where childhood sweethearts are 15 years apart in adulthood.

Why can't men play opposite women of the same age?
*

I think Scott-Thomas lives in France these days. Or at the least I know her husband is French.

I love her. She's fantastic.
Rebus
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 23 2008, 07:43 AM)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)


I remember studying this in Uni, and when I say study, I mean trying to stay awake during its entirity in our uni theatre. Some of the more choreographed set pieces are well done and at times it was visually arresting, but the structure of the singing, the incidental dialogue in particular, really took away from the performances of the cast. It was a bold step, but one that just didn't need to be taken I felt, and as a result I couldn't associate with anyone. I do remember (vaguely) it possessing one of the strangest exchanges in cinema, when Genevieve and her mother are having dinner with Cassard and she asks (sings) "Where are the peas?" To which her mother replies "Here are the peas." Then Cassard seems to find it appropriate to say (sing) "You are my queen." As you say, odd. As much as I enjoy 'I will wait for you', this type of musical really does not do it for me and seems be too much of a distraction rather than an innovative way to approach the musical.

Anyway.

Rescue Dawn

Had been meaning to watch this when it came out as I've always found Herzog's work interesting to say the least. This is probably his most accessible film, and thankfully doesn't compromise on quality as a result. Christian Bale as ever performs brilliantly but Steve Zahn is certainly one of the stand out performers, and its a shame I haven't seen more of him anywhere. To some degree it put me in mind of Papillon in its structure, but where Papillon was a more taught and slow-burning tense affair, the tension here was more sudden and more confronting. Definite thumbs up though.
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (Peronel @ Aug 23 2008, 10:53 AM)
Same here, but I think I'd be willing to er, go a bit further than you, Joe.
*


That's just where you're wrong, Amy.
sweetbutinsane
3:10 to Yuma (2007)

My sister had borrowed it off me to watch, and I ended up watching the second half of it with her. smile.gif
Peronel
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Aug 24 2008, 04:33 AM)
That's just where you're wrong, Amy.
*


It's a Goldblum sex-off! Place your bets, people.
sweetbutinsane
The Simpsons Movie

Still funny. smile.gif
Peronel
The Forbidden Kingdom

All a bit meh, really. To be fair, I went in under the false presumption that this was going to be somewhat serious, being only drawn by a trailer I paid no attention to and the fact that it stars Chan and Li. As a family movie, it's okay-ish, but the action sequences were watered down, there was no real story development beyond shallow cliches, and some characters were woefully underused, like Sparrow and the wolf-Witch. There were a few giggles thanks to Chan, but I wouldn't watch it again.
logger
Carry On Screaming

No Sid James, Barbara Windsor or Hattie Jacques and only small parts for Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw and Jim Dale and it still manages to be one of the best Carry Ons.

It shows how long it's been since I saw it that I was surprised by how much I fancied Fenella Fielding. I must have been too young last time.
maian
Somers Town (2008)

The first thing that needs to be said about Somers Town, the latest film from Midlands-maestro Shane Meadows, is that it's slight, though I don't mean artistically or thematically. It certainly lacks the punch of Meadows' two most recent feature films, Dead Man's Shoes and This Is England, but I would never say that such a warm film about male friendship and adolescent love is trivial or unimportant, far from it, but there is a definite light, unburdened feel to it that stands in contrast to those films, even if the stark black and white photography would suggest otherwise.

Part of this lightness is down to its story, which is established within 10 minutes and almost exhausted in 40 minutes. A young man named Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) hops on a train from Nottingham and goes to London where, in next to no time, he's mugged. Beaten and dejected, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Marek (Piotr Jagiello), a Polish lad with a penchant for photography and a crush on French Waitress, Maria (Elisa Lasowski), who Tomo quickly develops a liking for as well.

That's more or less it for plot, but that's okay, since the film is more concerned with following the development of the relationship between the two leads, and their relationship with Maria, than it is with any sort of major narrative drive. In fact, the film rarely feels like anything more than a series of entertaining little skits featuring the same characters, and that's really where most of its charm comes from. Turgoose and Jagiello are wonderful together and it's the little moments between them that make the film work. Paul Fraser's script is full of hilarious moments that are made all the moreso by the chemistry between the leads, and Turgoose really builds on the promise shown in This Is England by delivering a nuanced, funny and real performance.

Sadly, for all the times when the film works, there are those when it doesn't, and this is at least partly due to its length. Somers Town is only 75 minutes long and as a result feels simultaneously too short and too long; there are too few actual events to make it really feel like a film, yet there are also scenes that go on for too long, as if they were just trying to get it up to a length that would be suitable for a feature release. Scenes like a sequence involving a wheelchair and another in which Tomo and Martek get drunk are good examples of this. The former just about works because it is terribly sweet and uplifting, the latter doesn't because it's just not as entertaining as it needs to be, and both just serve to highlight how short the actual thing is. You get the feeling that the film would have worked better if it was an hour long programme shown on the BBC.

There are also moments when the film reaches for a more dramatic tone which whilst not at odds with the rest of the film, since there is a strain of darkness and melancholia running throughout it, do not have the appropriate groundwork for them to make them as effective as they perhaps should be, particularly regarding the relationship between Marek and his father. Their relationship is shown to be pretty stable but with hints of discord, but not enough to warrant a scene in the film which is incredibly maudlin and a case of by rote melodrama. It's not terrible or all that out of keeping with the story, it just feels out of place considering the way the rest of the film plays out.

Still, for all its flaws, Somers Town is another fine film from Shane Meadows. It's funny and real, with the central relationship echoing that in A Room For Romeo Brass, my favourite Meadows film to date, and it's just a very human story that is unadorned and honest. There are moments that don't work, but it's worth it for those that do.
Ade
QUOTE (Peronel @ Aug 24 2008, 01:46 AM)
It's a Goldblum sex-off! Place your bets, people.
*

This made me do an unexpected 'lol'.




I clocked up a few DVDs this weekend:


The Cat's Meow (2004)
Rather a good whodunnit, based upon rumours and speculation surrounding actual events, namely a party aboard media mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht that ended with an unsolved 'murder'. Some excellent turns from mostly well cast individuals, including Edward Hermann (as Hearst), Kirsten Dunst as his mistress, actress Marion Davies, and Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin. Others of note include Cary Elwes and Joanna Lumley. I really wasn't convinced by Izzard in the role of Chaplin though, which rather took the edge off it. It thus prompted me to watch the following:

Chaplin (1992)
Haven't seen this in years, and while I loved it at the time, and Robert Downey Jr.'s physical take on Charlie's routines are still a delight to watch now, I was rather put off by the obvious dubbing of his voice (quite how I missed that the last time I saw the film I don't know), which is a pity. Given Downey's more recent quality work I'd have expected in retrospect that he would have been more than capable of voicing the role well enough to have not necessitated any overdubs. That aside, it's still a decent enough biopic worthy of a glimpse.

La Vie En Rose (2007)
The best of the bunch, and a fantastic portrayal of French chanteuse Edith Piaf by Marion Cotillard, a most deserving Oscar-worthy performance indeed. I was a little thrown off by the constant flitting back and forth of the timeline, but aside from that it was thoroughly engaging. Highly recommendified.
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (Ade @ Aug 25 2008, 12:41 AM)
This made me do an unexpected 'lol'.
*


It gave me a disturbing mental image that, thanks to my previous statements, I can't really back out from.
sweetbutinsane
Ed Wood

For some reason, it never fails to make me happy. I think Ed's optimistic nature is contagious.
maian
I went off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, you'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz there was. If ever oh ever a Wiz there was The Wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because, because, because, it was being shown on the big screen by Vue.

Loved it. Still one of the films I have the strongest memories of watching as a child and the magic and wonder I felt then was still present, even if I picked up on a lot of the problems.
PrincessKate
QUOTE (Ade @ Aug 25 2008, 12:41 AM)
Chaplin (1992)
Haven't seen this in years, and while I loved it at the time, and Robert Downey Jr.'s physical take on Charlie's routines are still a delight to watch now, I was rather put off by the obvious dubbing of his voice (quite how I missed that the last time I saw the film I don't know), which is a pity. Given Downey's more recent quality work I'd have expected in retrospect that he would have been more than capable of voicing the role well enough to have not necessitated any overdubs. That aside, it's still a decent enough biopic worthy of a glimpse.
*

Dubbed by who? As far as I was aware he voiced it all himself, hence the phenomenal response/Bafta & Oscar noms etc.
Sostie
THE MUTANT CHRONICLES
On paper a film with a cast that includes Ron Perlman, John Malkovich, Thomas Jane, Sean Pertwee and Devon Aoki looks interesting, In reality it is a helluva let down.
Set in a future Earth where 4 major corporations are at war, mankind is threatend by hoardes of mutants, so a small band of soldiers is brought together by a religious order to destroy the machine that makes the mutants because it's all part of a prophecy and stuff!
Poor script, under-par performances (particularly Malkovich, and sadly, Perlman) and a sometimes unconvincing artificial look (it's filmed much in the same way as Sky Captain and Sin City). On the plus side they seemed to have taken a "steam-punk" approach so there is some nice design there, and the World War I type trench war at the beginning looks quite good.
This has been on the studio's shelf for some time, only being released at the cinemas and DVD in a few countries, and I think I can understand why.
sweetbutinsane
Ace Ventura When Nature Calls

I still love it as much as I did when I was younger. happy.gif
Raven
After finishing the book last week, Channel 5 obligingly showed the George Pal version of The Time Machine yesterday afternoon. I do like the film, but it makes me laugh in places - Rod Taylor's "Captain Kirk, I'll Show You This Thing Called Love" moments, and the blue skinned Morlocks who have eaten all the pies - top stuff!
Jimmay
Apocalypse Now Redux

I thought I'd seen this film years and years ago but could only remember bits of it. I'm wasn't sure if I'd fallen asleep, was channel hopping between it and something else or had to cut it short for some reason. Watching it again on Sunday I know why I can only remember bits from the first 2 hours and nothing from the last third. It's because it's so fucking boring I must have switched it off or fallen asleep. The huge scope and scale of the first 2 thirds of the film were outstanding and it was all building to a climax that I was genuinely excited about. The way Brando's character was built up I couldn't wait to see this amazing prodigy and great leader that seemed to have it all worked out. Instead, from the arrival at the French plantation which I hoped was just a minor blip but really was the very boring beginning of the very boring ending. I don't really know much about this film and whether the version I saw was Coppola's grand vision or a bastardised version of it but I was spectacularly disappointed. It lost its way so badly and lost me completely in the process.

This Is England

Pretty good film. I loved the group of friends at the start of the film but I'm so used to Meadow's style now that when it all inevitably turns sour its no longer a surprise as it has become the standard in his films. As a result Romeo Brass remains my favourite of his as it was the first one I had seen (recently anyway) and therefore felt fresh.
maian
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Aug 26 2008, 12:06 PM)
Apocalypse Now Redux

I thought I'd seen this film years and years ago but could only remember bits of it.  I'm wasn't sure if I'd fallen asleep, was channel hopping between it and something else or had to cut it short for some reason.  Watching it again on Sunday I know why I can only remember bits from the first 2 hours and nothing from the last third.  It's because it's so fucking boring I must have switched it off or fallen asleep.  The huge scope and scale of the first 2 thirds of the film were outstanding and it was all building to a climax that I was genuinely excited about.  The way Brando's character was built up I couldn't wait to see this amazing prodigy and great leader that seemed to have it all worked out.  Instead, from the arrival at the French plantation which I hoped was just a minor blip but really was the very boring beginning of the very boring ending.  I don't really know much about this film and whether the version I saw was Coppola's grand vision or a bastardised version of it but I was spectacularly disappointed.  It lost its way so badly and lost me completely in the process.
*


Supposedly it's his grand vision but I think it's much worse than the original. The French Plantation scene isn't in the original and there are lots of things in it that just work so much better. Haven't watched Redux in a while, though, so I wouldn't be able to tell you how different the rest of the film is in detail, apart from the fact that Redux is pants.
Jimmay
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 26 2008, 12:10 PM)
Supposedly it's his grand vision but I think it's much worse than the original. The French Plantation scene isn't in the original and there are lots of things in it that just work so much better. Haven't watched Redux in a while, though, so I wouldn't be able to tell you how different the rest of the film is in detail, apart from the fact that Redux is pants.
*


I thought as much. Afterwards Sarah and I sat and just listed the bits that were completety needless and could have been left out. The 20 minutes at the plantation was an obvious one and the rest was basically us sitting there and saying how we'd have done it differently as usually happens when a film bores me. Which version would you recommend then and is it about an hour shorter?
Ade
QUOTE (PrincessKate @ Aug 25 2008, 10:21 PM)
Dubbed by who? As far as I was aware he voiced it all himself, hence the phenomenal response/Bafta & Oscar noms etc.
*

Well, that's what I thought. But if it was his own voice, someone's done a bloody awful audio-vis-synch job with the DVD. But every other character looked and sounded to be perfectly in-synch. Maybe it was just my imagination, but pretty much all of Downey's lines seemed a bit disembodied. But it's not just me is it, surely? Or have my ears finally started to detach from reality?
maian
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Aug 26 2008, 12:15 PM)
I thought as much.  Afterwards Sarah and I sat and just listed the bits that were completety needless and could have been left out.  The 20 minutes at the plantation was an obvious one and the rest was basically us sitting there and saying how we'd have done it differently as usually happens when a film bores me.  Which version would you recommend then and is it about an hour shorter?
*


I much prefer the original, which is 49 minutes shorter, according to Wikipedia, and it really feels like it. It's just a more engaging film, in my opinion.
dandan
the original is ace. redux can fuck right off. the bits that he added just go to show what a cunt he is these days.
Sostie
QUOTE (dandan @ Aug 27 2008, 10:25 AM)
the original is ace. redux can fuck right off. the bits that he added just go to show what a cunt he is these days.
*


The original can fuck right off as well once they reach Kurtz.
maian
The rest of it more than makes up for it, though.

The Virgin Spring (1959)

Ingmar Bergman's film in which a medieval farmer's daughter is brutally raped and killed, forcing the farmer to take revenge against her killers. Very good, mainly for Max von Sydow's portrayal of the father, but it did seem to take a little too long to get to the murder. I really want to see Last House On The Left now.
Jimmay
QUOTE (Sostie @ Aug 27 2008, 10:34 AM)
The original can fuck right off as well once they reach Kurtz.
*


Agreed. After reading what was different in the original version I think I would have been just as bored towards the end. The first two hours are sublime though. It made me really excited about Tropic Thunder actually.
maian
Alice In Wonderland (1951)

My sister has dug out some of our old Disney videos and we both settled down to watch the classic adaptation of Lewis Carroll's timeless story of nonsense and childhood. Having recently re-read ''Wonderland'' and read ''Through the Looking Glass'' for the first time, it was interesting seeing how different the film is since it's really an amalgamation of both books, with a slightly more straightforward narrative to it, particularly regarding Alice's character. Still magical and bizarre.
GundamGuy_UK
Have you ever seen Jan Svankmajer's Alice?

I saw that before the Disney version, so that's what I think of when I think of Alice in Wonderland.
thirtyhelens
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 26 2008, 03:10 AM)
Redux is pants.
*


I held this view as well, the first time. After watching it on DVD, I find it merely sub-par. (With a few notable excellences, in particular Albert Hall's performance in the scene at Clean's funeral, which is just lovely.) Most of it's pretty unnecessary, though, the original cut is a leaner, meaner beast.
NiteFall
I just watched Babylon A.D. I kinda wish I hadn't to be honest. A reasonable, if not entirely original, premise, executed with some nice touches, but one of the worst and most confusing endings I have ever seen in a film. I honestly thought that a chunk of the final reel was missing until I chatted to our projectionist.
melzilla
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 27 2008, 09:57 PM)
Alice In Wonderland (1951)

My sister has dug out some of our old Disney videos and we both settled down to watch the classic adaptation of Lewis Carroll's timeless story of nonsense and childhood. Having recently re-read ''Wonderland'' and read ''Through the Looking Glass'' for the first time, it was interesting seeing how different the film is since it's really an amalgamation of both books, with a slightly more straightforward narrative to it, particularly regarding Alice's character. Still magical and bizarre.
*


Weird. I watched this yesterday. The Cheshire Cat is still one of my favourite Disney characters.

I've also watched Get Smart and You Don't Mess With The Zohan this week; a few hours of my life I'll never get back.

I finally got hold of a copy of [REC] though. Really interesting twist on a zombie-type flick that's definitely worth a watch. Totally predictable for the most part but very entertaining and loads of fun chasey/bitey action.
Rebus
Grindhouse

Planet Terror was ridiculous and great for many reasons.

Death Proof, not so much...until Zoe Bell started doing what she does best.
Ade
I watched Death Proof again t'other night, and enjoyed it as much as I did at the flicks. I don't hold with the "it's too talky" argument, I still really like it, but I can understand why it bores some folk. Granted, Kurt Russell isn't in it anywhere near enough, but his screen time is gold - and he is hilarious in the closing scenes.

To follow that, I finally watched Planet Terror last night, which was all kinds of awesome in comparison, mainly by virtue of actually having some semblance of plot. The trailer for Machete was superb - I'm really looking forward to the full GrindHouse experience at some point.
Sostie
QUOTE (Rebus @ Aug 28 2008, 05:42 AM)
Grindhouse
Death Proof, not so much...until Zoe Bell started doing what she does best.
*


Which certainly wasn't acting. God she irritated me. On the hood of a car good. Talking, bad.


QUOTE (Ade @ Aug 28 2008, 10:36 AM)
To follow that, I finally watched Planet Terror last night, which was all kinds of awesome in comparison, mainly by virtue of actually having some semblance of plot. The trailer for Machete was superb - I'm really looking forward to the full GrindHouse experience at some point.
*


Probably one of the main reasons I disliked Death Proof so much when I saw Grindhouse was because Planet Terror was such relentless fun - it probably felt duller that it was. It was like having a fantastic meal followed by an apple for dessert.
maian
Mean Streets

Never seen it before and I liked it a lot. It's pretty much the halfway point between the rawness of Who's The Knocking At My Door (which it is sort of a follow-up to) and the more sophisticated, nuanced work Scorsese would do on Taxi Driver and, particularly, GoodFellas.

Fantastic soundtrack, too.
Omniscia
QUOTE (Sostie @ Aug 28 2008, 05:49 AM)
Probably one of the main reasons I disliked Death Proof so much when I saw Grindhouse was because Planet Terror was such relentless fun - it probably felt duller that it was.  It was like having  a fantastic meal followed by an apple for dessert.
*


I didn't have time to catch the proper double-feature during its limited cinematic release around here (it was only here for about a week, and most of those were midnight shows), so I had to settle for the DVDs...

That said, I watched Death Proof first, and I could barely resist turning off the DVD player. Kurt was watchable as ever, but overall I found it boring, self-indulgent, and stupefyingly talky. It was like a trashy, vaguely misogynistic My Dinner With Andre with a smattering of action bits spliced in from a better film.

I persevered, though, and made it through to the end, but after suffering through QT's narcissistic snooze-fest, I dreaded Planet Terror. And I couldn't have been more wrong. It was everything Death Proof was not: Funny, thrilling, compelling, and just plain fun. From the Machete trailer onward, I sat in rapt attention, a delirious grin on my face...
NiteFall
Did I hear that Machete was being made into a full length film or did I just dream that?
Omniscia
QUOTE (NiteFall @ Aug 28 2008, 11:21 AM)
Did I hear that Machete was being made into a full length film or did I just dream that?
*


Three feature-length films, supposedly.
NiteFall
That is possibly the single most awesome (awesomest?) thing in the history of cinema.
dandan
the music of chance - you make all the others look like yesterday's mashed potatoes...

a film based on the, much lauded, novel by paul auster, who also has a cameo...

nashe (mandy patinkin) is driving; something he's been doing for the past year. just driving. one day, he picks up a beat-up, dishevelled, you man named pozzi (james spader) from the side of the road and they head off to new york. en route, pozzi tells nashe of his misfortunes and begins to rue the fact that he has no money, but has been invited to take part in a big game. a game he could win big against a couple of chumps. with nashe's money running low, he agrees to finance the game.

the pair set off to an isolated estate in pennsylvania; the home of flower (charles durning) and stone (joel grey), two eccentric millionaires with a passion for gambling. as the game progresses, things don't work out as pozzi expected and, before too long, he and nashe find themselves in a strange predicament...

this is a film which i first watched a long time ago, but revisit every few years and always enjoy. auster claims that the novel, it is based on, is an absurdist work about 'the meaninglessness of the universe': which, i suppose, it is. it certainly is an unusual story, that isn't without absurdity, darkness, humour and intrigue...

in terms of performance, the film is all about patinkin and spader; two actors who i always like and they don't let you down here. patinkin's nashe is mysterious and enigmatic, whilst he is essentially the strong, steady and silent type. on the other hand, spader's pozzi is a loose cannon, who still has a firm grip on the reigns of morality. a strange and interesting pair, for sure.

now, if only there was a decent dvd release; i have a widescreen vhs, but only fullscreen dvds seem to exist. boo...

recommended...
Omniscia
Starship Troopers

Good fun despite Denise Richards.
dandan
QUOTE (Omniscia @ Aug 28 2008, 06:47 PM)
Starship Troopers

Good fun despite Denise Richards.
*


and another classic verhoeven commentary, where he talks about test-audiences booing her character throughout...
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (dandan @ Aug 28 2008, 05:02 PM)
the music of chance

recommended...
*


I echo this recommendation. It is great to see James Spader channelling another James (Woods) and doing it better. An odd film but in a good way.
Atara
QUOTE (Omniscia @ Aug 28 2008, 06:47 PM)
Starship Troopers

Good fun despite Denise Richards.
*


Love the film, hate the bit where her and that other bird have that shit race
maian
Family Plot (1976)

Faux-medium Blanche (Barbara Harris) and her taxi driver boyfriend (Bruce Dern, whose hair appears to be trying to out-do Art Garfunkel's) have struck the motherload; a wealthy old woman will pay them 10,000 dollars if they manage to track down her long-lost nephew. The only problem is no knows his name, who he is or where he is. Oh, and he grew up to be Secretary of Defense a kidnapper/diamond dealer (William Devane) aided by his girlfriend (Karen Black).

Alfred Hitchcock's final completed film, it's not on a par with his best work but it does fit comfortably in the second division, and from a director of Hitch's calibre, that's still pretty good. There's a more naturalistic approach to the dialogue between the characters than in a lot of Hitchcock films, partly due to the largely improvised dialogue, and the light tone really makes it charming, even if it never really goes much beyond that.

The only exception to this would be Delvane, whose performance really does raise the film up. He's got the perfect blend of charm and hard-hearted bastardiness to him that you cheer for him as his audacious kidnappings take place even though you know they're very bad things and you really shouldn't be supporting the guy who's trying to kill the heroes. He's a more or less perfect anti-hero.

Even at the age of 77, Hitchcock could construct an effective thriller and even if there are moments that don't work, a car chase in the middle of the film is pretty shoddy, it's still very entertaining.

A curio, but a good one, and it's got one of John Williams' most interesting scores.

Paris, Je T'aime (2006)

Collection of short films set in and about the French capital directed by a host of international and homegrown talents and featuring a similarly diverse selection of actors to boot.

It's good to see that even when they've only got about 5 minutes or so to tell a story, each of the directors manages to make their segments feel like their own; Gurinder Chadha's is breezy but manages to deal with love and racial identity in a cosmopolitan city; the Coen Brothers' is witty, violent and stars Steve Buscemi, and Gus van Sant's is shit.

It's all very hit and miss, which is par the course with an anthology film, but the great, good and passable outweigh the awful. The great include the Coens' short, in which Steve Buscemi becomes involved in the life of a couple on the Metro when he inadvertently makes eye contact with them; Alfonso Cuaron's, in which an old man (Nick Nolte) and a young woman (Sara Martins) walk down a street (it's more interesting than it sounds); and one featuring Juliette Binoche, but more on that later.

The main problem I have with it is that it's all pretty samey, with a lot of the stories being variations on ''girl meets boy and there are hints of a relationship but you don't really see all that much because the short isn't long enough'', though one directed by Tom Twyker (Run Lola, Run) does at least make a concession of showing the entire relationship up to a certain point, so it can be forgiven for being a variation on an over done theme. These are, generally, fine, but only a couple really sparkle, and it's generally why the ones that really stand out are those that are about pre-existing relationships, and particularly those that veer into fantasy.

Chief amongst these being one directed by Wes Craven, in which a couple (Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer) walk through the Père-Lachaise graveyard and encounter Oscar Wilde (Alexander Payne). It's a fairly amusing, divergent tale that isn't hugely original but at least it's different. Similarly, the one directed by Vincenzo Natali, in which a tourist (Elijah Wood) encounters a vampire (Bond girl Olga Kurylenko), is a tad Anne Rice but at least it doesn't pretend to be realistic and stands out. One involving Paul Putner as a mime also fits into this category; it's not that good, but at least you remember it.

The stand-out of the ''fantastical'' shorts, though, is Nobuhiro Suwa's, in which Juliette Binoche plays a mother who, with the help of a mystical cowboy, meets her dead son for one last time. It's touching without being saccharine and really does make the most of its rather limited time and narrative.

Overall it's pretty good. My favourite, unsurprisingly, is the Coens', but the majority of the shorts manage to be entertaining, interesting or both, and a few are pretty special in the end.
Rebus
QUOTE (Sostie @ Aug 28 2008, 08:49 PM)
Which certainly wasn't acting.  God she irritated me.  On the hood of a car good.  Talking, bad.
Probably one of the main reasons I disliked Death Proof so much when I saw Grindhouse was because Planet Terror was such relentless fun - it probably felt duller that it was.  It was like having  a fantastic meal followed by an apple for dessert.
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I actually found her performance a lot less irritating than any of the other women, I doubt she could play anyone other than herself, but it was a good decision to have her in the film rather than simply as the stunt stand-in, so she became the only remotely believable one. Tracie “muthfuckin’ bitch-nigga” Thomas infuriated me; not all black women are “ghetto” QT.

QUOTE (Omniscia @ Aug 29 2008, 02:18 AM)
I didn't have time to catch the proper double-feature during its limited cinematic release around here (it was only here for about a week, and most of those were midnight shows), so I had to settle for the DVDs...

That said, I watched Death Proof first, and I could barely resist turning off the DVD player. Kurt was watchable as ever, but overall I found it boring, self-indulgent, and stupefyingly talky. It was like a trashy, vaguely misogynistic My Dinner With Andre with a smattering of action bits spliced in from a better film.

I persevered, though, and made it through to the end, but after suffering through QT's narcissistic snooze-fest, I dreaded Planet Terror. And I couldn't have been more wrong. It was everything Death Proof was not: Funny, thrilling, compelling, and just plain fun. From the Machete trailer onward, I sat in rapt attention, a delirious grin on my face...
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It really was disappointing, the whole sequence where they dissect the hilarity of Zoe falling in the ditch, when she kenw it was there (oh my god!), was wholly unnecessary. It just came off as a very lazy attempt and nowhere near matched Planet terror, but most importantly, it wasn’t very grindhouse.
dolfyn
John Carpenter's THE THING

Slightly more gory than I remembered, but then I'd only seen half of it on late-night TV once. Good horror flick with an overwhelming sense of dread & paranoia. I enjoyed the ambiguous ending. cool.gif
I also had a few giggles at the commentary with John Carpenter & Kurt Russell. Those guys are a hoot. happy.gif

Feel the love.
dolfyn.
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Sostie
Extreme Prejudice

The upcoming release of the Walter Hill collection really put me in the mood to watch this slice of 80's machismo. Texas Ranger Nick Nolte in on the US side of the border, his old school buddy and drug lord Powers Boothe is on the Mexican side, and in between is a team of elite MIA's. And it's about to kick off.

Walter Hill is a man that has made a lot of films and helluva lot of hits compared to misses. He's obviously influenced by Peckinpah (right down to the mis-treatment of scorpions) and there are some similarities to No Country For Old Men. The script is is pretty funny in places, but best of all is the cast. Wall to wall bad asses - Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Michael Ironside, Rip Torn, Clancy Brown and William Forsythe. This isn't the shambling drunk Nolte of Hill's earlier 48hrs (or his later real life mug shots) but a lean, mean fighting machine. In fact both Nolte and Boothe were pretty fine looking men back in 1987.

A great slice of 80's macho action


Extreme Prejudice also provided a few unitntentional guffaws last night. The first was Powers Boothe's ever changing stubble between some scenes - one minute he's unshaven, the next nearly bearded. The second was this. A so bad it's nearly good teaser trailer for the film.
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